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TECHNOLOGY

Arts and craft giant partners with social media platform on home decor

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Michaels and Pinterest are merging crafts and digital promotions to get artisans’ creative juices flowing.

The two companies are teaming up to sell a kit that can inspire newbies or the most experienced crafter to create one of the most trending projects on Pinterest. The co-branded Make It Kits were developed using Pinterest insights and trends, along with Michaels’ product expertise and e-commerce capabilities, according to Michaels.

On April 20, Michaels rewards customers are entitled to member-only early access to purchase the first kit, “Shibori for Your Home,” via Promoted Pins and an exclusive email offer. On April 21, the kits will be available to the public on Michaels’ e-commerce site.

The craft kit, a Japanese-inspired Shibori-style dyeing project, contains step-by-step instructions, tea towels, dye, and materials for three different dyeing techniques.

“Michaels is committed to making it easier, more accessible and most importantly, more fun for people to make [crafts],” said Carrie Walsh, senior VP of marketing for Michaels. “Pinterest helps people discover things they love, and our Make It Kit partnership is a perfect way to bring that inspiration to life.”

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AppearHere
TECHNOLOGY

Appear Here taps into ongoing trend for pop-up stores, temporary leases

BY Marianne Wilson

Think of it as an Airbnb for temporary spaces.

Appear Here, a British-based online marketplace for short-term retail space, has launched in the United States, with its initial expansion starting in New York City.

Two leading global real estate firms, Blackstone and Simon Property Group, along with Brookfield, one of the largest firms in New York, have signed up exclusively with Appear Here to list hundreds of spaces in the city’s most popular neighborhoods, such as Chelsea, West Village, SoHo, Nolita in Manhattan, and Williamsburg in Brooklyn.

Currently, over 80,000 brands worldwide use Appear Here to find temporary space in London and Paris.

“More than ever, designers, brands and entrepreneurs are realizing that renting space online is the fastest and most flexible approach to retail,” said Appear Here founder Ross Bailey.

The Appear Here marketplace site matches brands with their own personal concierge while landlords can access real-time data on demand and financial performance. An editorial team populates the site with content and “destination guides” to help brands find the perfect space.

According to Appear Here, the company books space in under three to six days. It noted that 50% of March bookings were done in 48 hours.

"We believe that Appear Here's unique product and community of forward thinking international retailers, new brands, makers and independents will benefit from our highly engaged audiences who seek out and avidly consume interesting experiences,” said Zachary Beloff, director of business development at Simon Property Group.

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Apparel_clothing
TECHNOLOGY

Online giant granted patent to create on-demand clothing

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon’s newest win could expand its foothold in the private-label apparel category.

The online giant won a patent on Tuesday, April 18, for an on-demand apparel manufacturing system. The solution includes a textile printer, textile cutter, and a computing device that will work in concert to design apparel once customers place an order.

The solution generates and provides instructions to a textile assembly production line, including aggregating orders for products, organizing orders according to a productivity factor, arranging item panels into an aggregated textile panel template, and directing these panels to various sewing stations, the patent explained.

“Once various textile products are printed, cut, and assembled according to the orders, they can be processed through a quality check, photographed for placement in an electronic commerce system, shipped to customers, and/or stored in a materials handling facility for order fulfillment,” the patent said. “By aggregating orders from various geographic locations and coordinating apparel assembly processes on a large scale, the embodiments provide new ways to increase efficiency in apparel manufacturing.”

While there are no details on whether Amazon will open an on-demand textile factory, the patent could support the retailer’s ongoing expansion into apparel.

During 2016, Amazon quietly debuted at least eight of its own clothing brands including a women’s label, a kids clothing line, and a men’s buttoned-down shirt brand. In December, the company also posted several online job listings for positions that suggest it could be developing a line of workout apparel.

The patent, which was originally filed in December 2015, also supports a variety of categories beyond apparel, including accessories and footwear, according to the filing.

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