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The Weekly Closeout: Pacsun gets into resale, and is Instagram really not for photos anymore?



It’s been another week with far more retail news than there is time in the day. Below, we break down some things you may have missed during the week, and what we’re still thinking about.

From Walmart’s recent effort to tackle climate change to Lululemon’s mushroom-made yoga mats, here’s our closeout for the week.

What you may have missed

Pacsun enters resale business

In an attempt to be one of the cool kids, Pacsun is joining the rest of retail and launching resale. The company this week introduced PS Reserve — a place for trendy apparel, sneakers and accessories. Items featured have gone through a pre-screening and authentication process. Brands currently available include Yeezy, Jordan Brand and Supreme. Products for sale are part of Pacsun’s own inventory, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive. Also, if you Google “PS Reserve” the first thing you are going to hit is The Private Suite at LAX — a private luxury terminal out of Los Angeles — which is a different thing entirely. 

This week Pacsun also announced A$AP Rocky as its first guest artistic director. The rapper will oversee designer collaborations, in-store activations and brand campaigns related to launches in the retailer’s Los Angeles and SoHo stores. Rocky’s first capsule collection will be with Vans.

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Walmart and other retailers band together to address climate change

Walmart, H&M, Ingka Group (Ikea) and Kingfisher plc announced a joint initiative Wednesday that aims to limit the rise of global temperatures to within 1.5 degrees Celsius called the Race to Zero Breakthroughs: Retail Campaign. By joining the pledge, the retailers will support climate action within the retail industry and encourage fellow retailers to map out a plan to achieve their climate targets. The initiative is done in partnership with the COP26 High Level Climate Action Champions and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

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David’s Bridal loyalty program surpasses 500K

David’s Bridal reached over 500,000 members in its Diamond loyalty program since it first launched seven months ago. The bridal retailer has partnered with companies like Blue Nile, Shutterfly, The Ritz-Carlton Spa and The Spa at the St. Regis for its rewards program. David’s Bridal also discovered that the loyalty program cut the return rate in half when compared to non-members. 

Retail Therapy

Lululemon to sell yoga mats and bags made from mushrooms

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Lululemon this week unveiled the first products using Mylo, a leather-like material made from mycelium, which is the branching underground structure of mushrooms. The brand will sell yoga mats and bags made from the material in early 2022, according to Women’s Wear Daily. Lululemon first indicated it would make products from the mushroom material in October when it joined Bolt Threads’ Mylo consortium alongside Adidas, Kering and Stella McCartney.

“At lululemon, we are committed to making products and operating our business in an innovative, sustainable way for our guests,” Sun Choe, Lululemon’s chief product officer, said in October. “We firmly believe that innovation and sustainability are key to the future of retail.”

What we’re still thinking about

$650 billion

That’s the market opportunity Authentic Brands sees for itself. The brand holding company filed for an IPO this week as it looks toward further expansion. Authentic Brands has grown its revenue from $1 million since its founding in 2010 to $489 million this past year.

$80 million

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That’s the amount DTC beauty brand Glossier raised in its most recent round of funding. The company, which backed off of physical retail last year during the height of the pandemic, is planning “dozens of new stores” in the U.S. and abroad, and has its sights set on entering new markets with an “e-commerce-first approach.”

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What we’re watching

Instagram declares it’s no longer a photo-sharing app

Video killed the radio star, and now it’s coming for Instagram. The site’s head, Adam Mosseri, last week rattled users with his declaration that Instagram is “no longer a photo-sharing app.” The platform itself appears to have been rattled by the success of TikTok, the Chinese video-sharing app embraced by those who miss Vine, among many others, and which has a knack for going viral.

“[L]et’s be honest, there’s some really serious competition right now. TikTok is huge, YouTube is even bigger and there’s lots of other upstarts as well,” Mosseri said. “And so people are looking to Instagram to be entertained. There’s stiff competition and there’s more to do that we have to embrace that. And that means change.”

Instagram, which Mosseri said is also shaking up its recommendation algorithm, is not just thinking about its users, however; it’s also thinking about shopping. “The pandemic shifted or accelerated the shift of commerce from offline to online by a number of years, and we’re trying to lean into that trend,” Mosseri said.

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Changes are coming to video on Instagram ????

At Instagram we’re always trying to build new features that help you get the most out of your experience. Right now we’re focused on four key areas: Creators, Video, Shopping and Messaging.

— Adam Mosseri ???? (@mosseri) June 30, 2021

Once upon a time, Instagram was the upstart making competitors nervous. In its early days, users were sharing its characteristic square, Polaroid-esque images on Facebook. To counter the competition, Facebook bought it, a fact that came up during last year’s Congressional hearings on potential antitrust concerns in tech.

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LinkedIn Makes its 20 Most Popular LinkedIn Learning Courses Freely Available Throughout August





Looking to up your skills for a job change or career advancement in the second half of the year?

This will help – today, LinkedIn has published its listing of the 20 most popular LinkedIn Learning courses over the first half of 2022. In addition to this, LinkedIn’s also making each of these courses free to access till the end of the month – so now may well be the best time to jump in and brush up on the latest, rising skills in your industry.

As per LinkedIn:

As the Great Reshuffle slows and the job market cools, professionals are getting more serious about skill building. The pandemic accelerated change across industries, and as a result, skills to do a job today have changed even compared to a few years ago. Professionals are responding by learning new skills to future-proof their careers and meet the moment.” 

LinkedIn says that over seven million people have undertaken these 20 courses this year, covering everything from improved communication, project management, coding, strategic thinking and more.

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Here are the top 20 LinkedIn Learning courses right now, which you can access via the relevant links:

  1. Goal Setting: Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) with Jessie Withers
  2. Excel Essential Training (Office 365/Microsoft 365) with Dennis Taylor
  3. Interpersonal Communication with Dorie Clark
  4. Cultivating a Growth Mindset with Gemma Leigh Roberts
  5. Project Management Foundations with Bonnie Biafore
  6. Using Questions to Foster Critical Thinking and Curiosity with Joshua Miller
  7. Essentials of Team Collaboration with Dana Brownlee
  8. Unconscious Bias with Stacey Gordon
  9. Learning Python with Joe Marini
  10. Communicating with Confidence with Jeff Ansell
  11.  Speaking Confidently and Effectively with Pete Mockaitis
  12. Learning the OWASP Top 10 with Caroline Wong
  13. Power BI Essential Training with Gini von Courter
  14. Strategic Thinking with Dorie Clark
  15. SQL Essential Training with Bill Weinman
  16. Developing Your Emotional Intelligence with Gemma Leigh Roberts
  17. Communication Foundations with Brenda Bailey-Hughes and Tatiana Kolovou
  18. Agile Foundations with Doug Rose
  19. Digital Marketing Foundations with Brad Batesole
  20. Critical Thinking with Mike Figliuolo
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If you’ve been thinking about upskilling, now may be the time – or maybe it’s just worth taking some of the programming courses, for example, so that you have a better understanding of how to communicate between departments on projects.

Or you could take an Agile course. If, you know, you don’t trust your own management ability.

The courses are available for free till August 31st via the above links.

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Instagram Is Rolling Out Reels Replies, And Will Be Testing A New Feature Which Informs …





Instagram has added a few more social features to the platform, with Reels Replies being rolled out. Along with the Replies, anew feature is being tested that shows when two users are active together in the same chat.

Reels has been performing much better than perhaps even Instagram ever anticipated. The TikTok-inspired new video format (which officially claims to have absolutely no relation to the former) had some trouble really finding its footing initially. However, Reels has grown massively and while it may not be a source of the most direct competition to TikTok, it is indeed a worthy alternative.

Reels has grown to the point that it has a massive creator program attached to it, and the video format has even been migrated to Facebook with the goal of generating further user interest there. Naturally, with such a successful virtual goldmine on its hands, Instagram has been hard at work developing new features and interface updates for Reels, integrating it more and more seamlessly into the rest of the social media platform. Features such as Reels Replies are a major part of such attempts at integration.

Reels Visual Replies are essentially just what they sound like: A Reel that is being used to reply to someone. It’s a feature that’s been seen frequently across TikTok as well. Reel Replies essentially take a user’s comments, and reply to them in video format. The comment will then show up within the Reel itself as a text-box, taking up some amount of space, and showing both the user who issued said comment along with the text. The text-box is apparently adjustable, with users having the ability to move it around and change its size depending on where it obstructs one’s Reel the least.

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Overall, it’s a fun addition to the Reels format, even if the credit should be going to TikTok first. At any rate, it’s an example of Instagram really utilizing Reels’ social media capabilities, outside of just serving it up as a form of entertainment.

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Speaking of social media capabilities, a new feature might help alleviate one of the most common frustrations encountered across all such platforms. Isn’t it annoying when you see that a friend’s online, but isn’t replying to your chat? Sure, they’ve probably just put their phone down to run a quick errand, but there’s no way for you to know, right? Well, there sort of is now! Instagram is beta testing a new feature via which if both users are active within a chat, the platform will display that accordingly. It’s a work-around, sure, and one that’s currently being tested for usefulness, but it’s still a very nice, and even fresh, addition to the social media game.

Now, the active status will only appear when you are both active at the same time.#Instagram #instgramnewfeature@MattNavarra @instagram @alex193a

— Yash Joshi  (@MeYashjoshi) December 10, 2021

Read next: Instagram Plans On Allowing Users To Return To Its Old Chronologically Sorted News Feed

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5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android





Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.

You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).

You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.

While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.

1. Planoly


We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.

Planoly is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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2. Buffer

BufferCredit: buffer / app store

Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.

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Buffer is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

3. Preview

PreviewCredit: preview / app store

Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.

Preview is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

4. Content Office

Content OfficeCredit: content office / app store

An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.

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Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.

5. Plann

PlannCredit: plann / apple store

You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…

Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.

Plann is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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