• Direct-to-consumer jewelry brand Mejuri has raised $23M in Series B funding. The brand has become popular among millennials as a “treat yo’ self” purchase (75% of customers buy for themselves) versus gifting it to others. Mejuri also says that an impressive 30% of monthly transactions come from repeat shoppers, signaling a highly satisfied and engaged customer base.
    • Takeaway: The self-love movement has given birth to a new wave of jewelry startups, and Mejuri is riding it well. The brand will use the cash infusion partly to open more retail locations, which should translate into more multi-channel customers for the brand who will likely have a higher LTV than online-only shoppers. What impact will these additional stores have on Mejuri’s already solid repeat customer rate? This factor will be important to weigh since it’s easy for a customer to purchase another pair of earrings (that she probably learned about on Instagram) from her couch, while returning to a physical store to buy them is an entirely different, potentially slower form of discovery.
  • According to a recent Bloomberg article, your mall knows not only where you shop, but also where you want it to put a water fountain. Malls are using shopper location data to make decisions about stores, amenities and pet photo ops—we wonder if Foursquare had a hand in this?
  • Though its sexual harassment claims surfaced back in 2017, a lengthy exposé published by The New York Times Magazine now shows that Sterling Jewelers Inc.’s culture of harassment and abuse has not only been long-standing, but also reaches far into the depths of the company.
  • Kohl’s has your mom’s ear and now they’re coming for millenials. The company will roll out a Pinterest-like outfit bar to 50 stores starting this spring using the call to action “Life is short. Get the outfit.” Sure, the store looks like a social media feed, but how the retailer staffs this new section will be crucial. Just leaving shoppers to browse on their own won’t cut it.
  • Vacation property management company Vacasa has launched a service with Wayfair offering interior design assistance to vacation homeowners. While this could establish greater consistency across rental properties, it could also create a sameness that is undesirable to potential renters.
    • Takeaway: One reason renters are drawn to homes rather than hotels is for their authenticity and uniqueness. In partnering with a company whose look is pretty mid-century modern across the board, vacation rentals may lose some of their charm. Vacasa should be careful to keep some of each homeowner’s style while making the residences more visually appealing to fight the growing sense of uniformity in design.