Get Carter


July 30, 2019

Today, Sierra Energy fuels up with trash and the biometric ID firm, Clear, is cooking with gas, but first…
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How did Carter’s, a 154-year-old retailer, become the biggest biz in kids’ clothing?

Across the baby-clothes business, companies are closing their doors: 1.7k kids clothing stores — including whole chains such as Babies ‘R’ Us and Gymboree — closed their doors last year.

But Carter’s, a baby clothing company founded in 1865, is booming: As other baby businesses have filed for bankruptcy, Carter’s revenue has grown for 30 consecutive years, The Washington Post reports.

Last year, Carter’s sold $3.5B worth of baby clothes…

Which is 2x what it sold 10 years ago. The company accounted for 28% of kids pajamas sales last year and 24% of baby clothes sales.

That’s because Carter’s isn’t picky about partnerships: The company sells directly through its own network of 1k stores, but it also sells its clothes at department stores and luxury malls. 

Carter’s also sells separate clothing lines through Walmart, Target, and Amazon — catering to both bargain and luxury buyers.

It’s a strategy that prioritizes big distribution over brand recognition

Carter’s creates “exclusive” lines for each partner: “Just One You” for Target, “Child of Mine” for Walmart, and “Simple Joys” for Amazon.

Each mini-brand is subtly tailored to the platform: On Amazon, Carter’s clothes are bundled to appeal to stockpiling super-savers; At Target, they come in splashier colors for impulse buyers.

By de-prioritizing its own brand name, Carter’s effectively transformed all its biggest competitors into new distribution channels. 

Now, as it continues to grow, Carter’s plans to expand its focus to offer threads for pre-teens.

Carter’s sold smarter’s, not harder’s
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Sometimes, one person’s trash is another person’s startup

Sierra Energy, a company that transforms trash into renewable energy, raised $33m to expand its gasification program.

So, how exactly does it turn trash into treasure?

Sierra creates a chemical reaction between the carbon found in trash and pure, injected oxygen in a 4,000-degree modified blast furnace (normally used to make steel). 

The scorchingly high temps inside the blast-zone incinerate all types of trash — even medical and hazardous wastes that are otherwise a pain in the furnace to eliminate — and the machine creates carbon monoxide and hydrogen as byproducts.

The company, which is headquartered in Davis, California, started as a grad school project in 2002 and received several grants in recent years to keep the furnace burning. 

But now, big investors are starting to feel the heat

This recent $33m investment came from Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the energy fund led by Bill Gates that also counts Jeff Bezos, Marc Benioff and Richard Branson as investors.

Investors are fired up about the project because it solves 2 problems at once: In addition to creating a more sustainable alternative to landfills, Sierra also produces valuable “syngas” (synthesis gas), which can be used to create electricity, hydrogen, diesel, and ammonia.

» Hot garbage

Eye on the prize: Biometric firm Clear continues to lead the way to a speedier future

According to CNBC, United Airlines and security biometrics firm Clear have partnered to expand their eye-dentification screening kiosks in airports around the US — including hubs like Chicago O’Hare, Houston International, and Newark Liberty.

Clear has nearly 3.8m members sprinting through the security check slog — making the company a crystal Clear leader in speeding up the line. 

It’s all about the need for speed

It isn’t only airlines either: In December, Clear teamed with Hertz to get travelers out of the airport — quicker ground game, check.

And last summer, the firm began providing alcohol transactions at sporting events — a faster way of slugging beer to mouth, check. Now people can fly in, drive out, and drink away at a much faster pace.

And the need is only expected to grow

The partnership, which involved United buying a stake in Clear, is the latest example of an airline using biometric screening to move travelers through airports.

Rival airline Delta also has a stake in Clear, and JetBlue is testing facial recognition.

» The blink of an eye

TikTok, TikTok: YouTube finally learns what it’s like to compete with other video platforms

With pressure from the advertising overlords (Unilever) and many other factions, YouTube continues to shuffle around its monetization guidelines.

Now, through the newly formed ‘YouTubers Union’ — a self-proclaimed movement that “fights for the rights of YouTube creators and users,” the platform faces some substantial pushback from creators seeking to address some of the recent changes to their livelihood.

YouTube isn’t the only house on the block anymore

The news comes amid reports that creators ditched YouTube at this year’s VidCon for the young, hip, new rival TikTok — a Chinese-owned karaoke-style video app. Now, some speculate an expanding market could mean trouble for Ya-Tube.

The content-for-money space is growing at a time when many content creators feel as if their wings have been clipped by YT’s fluid approach to it’s ever-changing monetization guidelines.

With rivals like Facebook, Snapchat and Patreon adding new bill-paying dimensions to their creator economy, disenfranchised ‘Tubers no longer feel chained to the internet-vid pioneer.

Is the clock really TikTok-ing on YouTube’s content stronghold?

Nearly a quarter-million videos were uploaded to YouTube in the first week of 2019 alone. YouTube’s annual revenue is estimated to be between $16B and $25B for Peter’s sake — so you tell us.

Some creators may be miffed at YouTube’s policy changes, and the formation of a union always suggests a fire being stoked within the middle-class, but YouTube still sits atop the user-generated video throne… for now.

» The machine takes a hit
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