Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 20, 2012 02:55 PM
Traditional retail brands are increasingly looking to e-commerce start-ups for innovation, wedding their physical distribution and resource abundance with nimble, digital sales. Walgreen’s acquisition of Drugstore.com and Walmart's purchase of Kosmix are two high-profile examples. “These guys are usually slow and lumbering giants,” said Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru to the New York Times. “But they need to make proactive investments. Because, left to their own devices, they could never emulate these businesses.”
Add Nordstrom to the list of startup-hungry retailers. The Seattle-based upmarket store brand made few acquisitions in its 111-year-old history before last year, when it acquired ‘flash sales’ site HauteLook and became a lead investor in shoe subscription service Sole Society, a spin-off of HauteLook. This month Nordstrom acquired a stake in socially savvy e-tailer Bonobos in a deal that gives the latter $16.4 million in cash and access to more than 100 Nordstrom stores, while the latter can tap into the Bonobos team's expertise on branding and digital marketing with humor and savvy.
Just how deft is the Bonobos brand when it comes to tapping the zeitgeist? For Earth Day, the menswear e-tailer has created a line of denim made from beer bottles. That's right. Recycled. Beer. Bottles.Continue reading...