Member Brief No. 8: NYT Commerce Report

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The word commerce was a dirty one in the media space, until recently. One of 2PM’s capstone beliefs is that commerce is the central engine of the digital economy. That may seem to be a reasonable now. But consider that just two years ago, fewer than ten digital publishers maintained direct to consumer storefronts. Many will point to Jackthreads and Thrillist, so here is the clipping from May 2010 for reference:

Thrillist has acquired Gilt Groupe-for-dudes site JackThreads. The deal moves Thrillist, the NYC-based email-newsletter-for-dudes startup, into the e-commerce market. Previously, Thrillist has generated revenue through ads and sponsorships in its emails and on its website.

Spooked by the perceived failures of the Jackthreads x Thrillist partnership, content and commerce was dead on arrival as a revenue strategy for quite some time. But if you dug into the venture’s number, Jason Ross’s eCommerce company did quite well after being absorbed by Thrillist.

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Issue No. 244: A rare argument.

An argument for brick and mortar

Below are two examples of digital properties that’ve invested in brick and mortar success. As flagship stores and pop-ups have grown in popularity over the last several quarters, data is finally helping to explain the appeal of leaving the digital-only model behind.

Excerpt one: 


And it’s not just Amazon that’s noticing this development. Aerie‘s brick and mortar presences are having a profound effect on digital consumers, as well.

Excerpt two: 


Issue No. 236: But first, define “middle-class.”


Graphic of the week: Besmirchbox

Walmart’s purchase of Birchbox seems to be imminent and Wall Street is signaling that the reasons are: (1) logistical shortcomings (2) a shrinking middle-class.

The addition of upscale merchandise demonstrates the changes that the discount retailer has been forced to grapple with as the number of potential middle-class customers drops.

Pew Research Center defines “middle class” in America as households with two-thirds to double the national median income. While that still includes roughly half of American households, it’s a shrinking group — from 2000 to 2014, middle-class populations decreased in 203 of the 229 metropolitan areas reviewed in a Pew study.


See more of the issue here.