Bose Announce Closures in Favor of eCommerce-Only Policy

Audio equipment manufacturers Bose announced it will close all UK, North America, Australia, and Japan stores to become a fully online retailer.

This decision comes after the company said it noticed a ‘dramatic shift’ in consumer behavior towards eCommerce, particularly in the these regions. The company will shut down 119 physical stores over the coming months, resulting in an as yet unconfirmed number of layoffs.

“Originally, our retail stores gave people a way to experience, test, and talk to us about multi-component, CD and DVD-based home entertainment systems,” Colette Burke, VP of global sales, said in a statement. “At the time, it was a radical idea, but we focused on what our customers needed, and where they needed it – and we’re doing the same thing now.”

They will continue to operate stores in some areas, like China, UAE, and South Korea, among others, as the company has said it is yet to notice a shift towards online shopping there. Bose products will still be available for purchase in other electronics stores, like Currys in the UK, or Best Buy in the US.

US to bring in new rules to curb fake goods on eCommerce platforms

Amazon Fulfillment

The Trump administration is expected to announce new rules on Friday for eCommerce companies like Amazon and Aliexpress, regarding the vetting of third-party sellers, and the elimination of counterfeit goods being made available on their platforms.

The Department of Homeland Security is due to publish a report this week indicating how they will attempt to lower the number of fake goods being sold on eCommerce platforms. This report is expected to discuss greater scrutiny and penalties for offenders when they fail to take the necessary steps in blocking vendors selling fake goods on their platforms. US law enforcement are seeking all available statutory authorities to pursue civil fines and other penalties against these entitiesadministration officials have confirmed.

Officials also confirmed that the Trump administration is seeking legal authority “to explicitly permit the government to seek injunctive relief against third-party marketplaces and other intermediaries dealing in counterfeit merchandise,”.

This comes after Donald Trump demanded a suppression of counterfeit goods being available on third-party vendors in April 2019. In a memo signed by the president, it was argued that the trade of fake and pirated goods would reach half a trillion dollars this year internationally.

“This is not about any one eCommerce platform—this is about eCommerce playing by a different set of rules that simultaneously hammer brick-and-mortar retailers, defraud consumers, punish workers and rip off intellectual-property rights holders,” said White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who is part of a group heading up the project. “It’s Amazon, Shopify, Alibaba, eBay, JD.com, Walmart.com and a constellation of lesser players that provide the digital hubs.”

The laws will also target financial firms, logistic services, and similar companies that can play a part in stopping the rise of these goods being widely available online. Included as part of this initiative, customs agents will consider U.S fulfilment centres as the “ultimate consignee” for products that have not yet been sold. This will allow officials the ability to closely examine shipments, even if they have already cleared the border.

Half of Retailers Intend to Spend Majority of Ad Budget on Social Media

social media

Social Media advertising specialists Smartly.io have published new research that claims that 50% of retail advertisers are preparing to spend over half of their marketing budget on Social Media ads – $65 billion in the US alone.

The research also says that 52% of retail marketers plan to spend more on advertising through social media this year compared to 2019.

“Retail marketers recognize the value that social media ads bring to their campaigns, and they are focused on understanding which levers to pull to generate even more engagement and revenue,” Smartly’s global head of marketing Robert Rothschild said.

Facebook looks to benefit most from this, with 96% surveyed saying they plan to increase their Facebook spend on last year. In contrast, 56% said they would spend more on Twitter this year, while 22% said they would raise their budget for Instagram ads.

“Capturing the attention of today’s consumer demands that advertisers tell stories that seamlessly blend with the organic content that their audience already consumes,” Rothschild added.

“Investing in visual storytelling enables retail marketers to connect with consumers on an emotional and highly relevant level. Shifting spend to story ads, diversifying across social networks like Pinterest, bridging the gap between performance and creative teams, and investing in technology to scale creative and deliver incrementality in ad performance are ideal solutions that will allow teams to work faster and smarter in the year to come.”