Levi Strauss began trading on the New York Stock Exchange this morning under the ticker symbol ‘LEVI.’ By mid-afternoon, the stock was at $22.66, substantially higher than the price offered to institutional investors. It’s clear that investors believe that Levi’s can leverage technology and innovation to successfully compete online and in brick and mortar stores.
“You will see the continuous expansion over the next year into many different categories,” says Rent the Runway CEO Jennifer Hyman. “Anything that you do not use every single day, we want to make it fiscally irresponsible for someone to not have a subscription to Rent the Runway. We’re trying to build the Amazon Prime of rental.”
Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff says that every company is becoming a B2B2C company. “Every B2B company and B2C company is becoming a B2B2C company,” says Benioff. “What company does not have to directly connect with the consumer? You could be a traditional industrial company who’s selling to B2B resellers and you have to be ready in this connected digital revolution to be able to connect directly to your consumer as well.”
Walmart is the Roman Empire of retail, says Burt Flickinger, Managing Director of SRG Insights. Walmart announced an impressive earnings and revenue beat that told the story investors want to hear. Walmart is winning the retail wars, especially against arch-rival Amazon.
Direct to Consumer, or DTC, is a fundamental platform shift, according to former AOL and Verizon digital properties CEO Tim Armstrong. “There have been a couple times in my career where there has been what is basically a fundamental platform shift,” noted Armstrong. “I felt like direct-to-consumer was something that was going to be a platform shift.”
The recent USPS shipping structure changes will increase retailers shipping costs, says Rakuten CEO Mike Manzione. What Rakuten does is help retailers offset by utilizing a network of order fulfillment centers, thereby controlling shipping costs while decreasing shipping times.
Retail executive Gerald Storch who was the former CEO of Toys “R” Us and Vice Chairman of Target explains why some retailers are failing while others are thriving. “The demise of many retail chains is due to the rise of the internet and the inability of some retailers to keep up.”
With the future of retail we have crossed over the demarcation line, says Walter Robb, the former co-CEO of Whole Foods. “We’re not going back to the old retail,” said Robb. “It’s just not going to happen. That’s the combination of digital and physical.