C-SUITE

Report: Aerosoles exec to lead Walmart’s online fashion team

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Walmart has tapped a retail veteran to bolster its foothold in its growing online fashion category.

Denise Incandela was named Walmart’s senior VP, fashion, effective October 2, 2017. She will lead the fashion businesses for Walmart.com, Jet.com, and Shoes.com, according to Fashion Network. In her new role, she will report to Walmart’s chief revenue officer Scott Hilton, the report said.

Most recently, Incandela served as CEO for Aerosoles. Incandela took on the role in April, succeeding R. Shawn Neville, who assumed the role of executive chairman of the board. She was also appointed to the company’s board of directors.

Prior to Aerosoles, Incandela served as president for Ralph Lauren’s global digital division. She was also executive VP and chief marketing officer for Saks Fifth Avenue, and executive VP ad president of Saks Direct.

Last week, Aerosoles filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it looks to shutter nearly all of its U.S. stores. Aerosoles plans to maintain four flagships, in New York and New Jersey, as it shifts its focus to enhancing its e-commerce, wholesale and international businesses.

Incandela’s appointment is Walmart’s latest move to strengthen its online fashion offering. For example, the retailer acquired Shoebuy in December 2016, followed by outdoor apparel retailer Moosejaw in February and ModCloth in March. In June, the chain announced it would purchase Bonobos for $310 million in cash.

In a move to woo millennial shoppers, the retailer plans to sell the upscale Bonobos or ModCloth brands on Jet.com — a company that Walmart acquired in September 2016.

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ECOMMERCE

Amazon in big restaurant push

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon is upping its restaurant delivery program in a move to add some of the nation's best-known chains to its menu.

Olo, a New York-based food delivery service, announced that it is integrating Amazon Restaurants’ delivery service into its ordering platform. The collaboration potentially gives the online giant access to 200 restaurant brands, including Chipotle, Denny’s, Five Guys Burgers & Fries and Jamba Juice, among others.

Rails, Olo’s application programming interface (API), enables restaurant partners to easily list their menus on third-party marketplaces — eliminating the need to install tablets and manage orders in multiple places. Customer orders entering the system from the newly integrated Amazon Restaurants will reduce confirmation and response times — and the likelihood of manual errors.

“We are excited to leverage Olo’s digital ordering technology and continue rapidly growing our network of restaurants to give Amazon Prime members more options for fast delivery from their favorite brands,” said Gus Lopez, general manager of Amazon Restaurants. “This integration will enable Amazon Restaurants to onboard new restaurants with ease, as well as quickly add more new choices and delivery options for customers.”

Restaurants on Olo’s network offer customers counter and curbside pickup options for orders placed by phone, Web, mobile Web, app, as well as artificial intelligence-based devices, including Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices. Olo also integrates into 25 leading POS systems, which supports more accurate order preparation and completion, and eliminates wait times.

The service is another way for Amazon to expand its physical presence. With the recent acquisition of Whole Foods, the e-retailer added more than 400 grocery stores to its physical retailing network. It also operates a growing chain of brick-and-mortar bookstores, AmazonFresh pickup stations, and cashier-free Amazon Go convenience stores operating in Seattle.

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ECOMMERCE

Amazon is hiring for shoppable interactive video start-up

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon is on the hunt for a team to head up its newest business venture.

The online giant is launching a new start-up called “Amazon Live.” The division “builds interactive streaming experiences that create new shopping experiences for customers,” according to a posting on Amazon Jobs.

As the start-up focuses on incorporating videos into the shopping experience, Amazon needs a team to manage these operations. Currently, the online giant is targeting user experience designers, as well as a software development manager and engineers, according to the job postings.

All candidates must be interested in working in a “creative, fast paced, entrepreneurial work environment.” They will also be tasked with inventing and launching innovative designs that directly impact Amazon customers, the postings said.

Amazon’s current videos resemble product demonstrations, ranging from short cooking tutorials to home improvement to gadget reviews. However, they are not live, according to CNBC.

Once Amazon has a team onboard however, the start-up could expand into more social-media-like initiatives, similar to the YouTube personalities it uses to sell Amazon-listed products through its “influencers” program, the report added.

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