Lacin’ up

December 14, 2018

Online luxury retailer, Farfetch, bets on sneakers as a luxury item after acquiring Stadium Goods for $250m.
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Farfetch acquires online sneaker platform, Stadium Goods, for $250m

Sneaker resale… so hot right now. And, these days, it’s attracting more than your average hypebeast.

Case in point: Online luxury fashion marketplace Farfetch just acquired online sneaker marketplace Stadium Goods for $250m (blowing its $20m valuation from last year out of the water).

Not so farfetched

Farfetch is one of the biggest online luxury retailers in the game. This year alone, the company went public at a $6.2B valuation and is on track to hit over a billion in sales.

By acquiring Stadium Goods, the company’s diving even further down the sneaker wormhole, further blurring the lines between luxury and tennis shoes.

Why not? According to Farfetch’s CEO, José Neves, sneakers are already the fastest growing category on the platform. 

Welcome to the Sole Rush

Investors are finally starting to smell that get-rich-quick foot stink: LVMH, the investment arm of Louis Vuitton’s parent company, threw cash into Stadium Goods earlier this year, and some of its rivals are also lacin’ up while the sneaker-wave is good.

GOAT and Flight Club joined forces in February, with $60m in new funding from Index Ventures, while StockX hauled in $44m this year.

The trendiest of trends

Volatile fads rule the fashion world, and each of these companies is hedging a different bet on what the future of sneaker growth will look like.

Stadium Goods and Farfetch have their money in luxury, GOAT and Flight Club are betting on sneakerhead traditionalists, and StockX is trying to get people to see sneakers as an investment opportunity in an entire “stock market of things.”

Loop, swoop, and pull.
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With Whole Foods in Amazon’s basket, Instacart has finally ditched its old partner

After sharing shoppers for 4 years, Instacart is finally taking Whole Foods out if its cart by terminating its partnership with the all-natural grocer. After Amazon purchased Whole Foods last year, it was only a matter of time until Whole Foods would become exclusive. 

But, in the year since Amazon put a ring on its supermarket soul mate, Instacart has shopped for new partners.

Turning the ’Cart around

Whole Foods signed a 5-year contract with Instacart in 2016, which should have preserved the partnership through 2021. 

But after Amazon’s $13.7B acquisition, it became clear Instacart was no longer Whole Foods’ #1. 

So Instacart, not happy being anyone’s side-service, started taking matters into its own carts.

A strong, independent service

In the last 18 months, Instacart added several grocery giants to its cart (Kroger, Sam’s Club, Walmart Canada) and raised $871m in new funding to ensure it can roll on its own 4 wheels.

Now, since Whole Foods stores account for only 76 of Instacart’s 15k grocery locations, Instacart’s revenue is expected to drop by less than 5%.  

Instacart, which is valued at $7.6B, failed to announce the exact day that it would stop taking orders from Whole Foods. So, if you’re reading this — stock up on your Probiotic Kale-Turmeric Smoothies while you can!!!

» Tasty while it lasted

Hotels are the new co-working spaces

These days, Wi-Fi is cheaper than water — and way cheaper than marketing. The New York Times reports that hotels are evolving beyond the outdated ‘business centers’ of yore, to create co-working common spaces in their lobbies. 

Now, the world is your business center

Chains like the trendy Ace Hotel are revamping their lobbies to lure in digital nomads with the promise of free Wi-Fi and bathrooms. 

The offerings are so on-point it’s almost predatory: The Ace Hotel in NYC, for example, serves coffees, tofu bowls, and CBD brownies until 4am to attract its hip, local clientele.

Meanwhile, WeWork’s getting in on the hotel action with its chain WeLive, a lined of fully furnished short-term apartment rentals.

You know what they say, come for the Wi-Fi, stay for the tofu bowls… 

Even room service stalwarts are getting in on the action

Marriott currently has 80 locations in the works for its new hotel brand, Moxy, which features larger common spaces and an entrance that requires you to check in at a bar for your key and a complimentary drink.

Sheraton has also invested in overhauling 450 of its current lobbies to include “productivity tables,” which come equipped with outlets, USB ports, and rentable drawers.

   @ Me Anything
Lindsey Quinn, Managing Editor at the Hustle

Psst, Sheraton, you mean a “desk”?
Show this thread
» After the party’s the hotel lobby

With its 3% account, crafty Robinhood steals business from banks and gives it to… itself

Mobile investment platform Robinhood announced yesterday that it will offer digital checking accounts that yield 3% interest, with debit cards shipping in January 2019. 

Attracted by the high interest rates (normal bank accounts yield 0.06%), zero fees, and more ATMs than the 5 largest traditional banks combined, more than 430k people signed up for the waiting list on the first day.

Digital checking accounts are so hot right now

Other fintech startups including Acorns, SoFi, and Square have recently rolled out their own digital checking accounts (complete with debit cards).

In response, traditional banks mimicked the juiciest features of these ‘neo-banks’ (free-peer to peer payment, etc.), causing fintech startups to roll out new features to stand out in a crowded field. 

So, who is Robinhood stealing from to offer 3%?

The reason why Robinhood is able to offer better rates than other bank accounts is simple: Robinhood’s accounts aren’t bank accounts. Instead, they are technically money market funds (stable mutual funds that yield more than bank accounts). 

With US interest rates at their highest point since the 2008 recession, Robinhood will invest in US Treasury bonds to make its returns (although if the Fed slashes interest rates, it may have to lower its rates).

So even though Robinhood’s products are more convenient than traditional bank accounts, Robinhood’s most innovative feature isn’t their tech — it’s their marketing.

» Bank account shmank account

Def: Tail Spend – the long tail of corporate spend

From what we can tell, you subscribe to The Hustle for 3 reasons:

1) You like what we cover, 2) You want to know if Wes Shlangenhauf is a real person (he is) 

3) You’re always on the lookout for new ways to get ahead. 

So when we come across information we think you can use, we share it. Like Tail spend — a term that, to be honest, we didn’t know existed until now, but boy do we like it. 

One area your business can instantly improve

This eBook from lays it out for you in plain English: if you don’t manage your tail spend, you fall into a tailspin. (Okay, that was a groaner, but this advice won’t be.)

Tail spend is all company expenditures that fall outside of deals with regular suppliers. You know the infrequent, not-strategically-managed purchases — like travel. 

Tackling tail spend can lead to huge improvement. According to an Infosys case study, a US telecom saved $60m in just one year. 

Now that you know what it is, you ready to take action? Learn how to recognize Tail spend and do something about it with’s eBook

Learn a lil’ sumthin’ → shower thoughts
  1. Clocks are just a metronome ticking at 60bpm.
  2. Dunder Miflin is probably the most known paper company, even as a fictional company.
  3. Dec 25 feels more like a deadline than a holiday.
  4. Choking on your spit is proof that doing something 10,000 times does not make you an expert.
  5. Blue jeans go with everything yet blue pants don’t.
  6. via Reddit
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