July 2, 2020

Every month Embodee summarizes and analyzes key developments and trends in the apparel and footwear industry, including the latest news about 3D product creation, design, and customization technology. Our goal: help you stay informed, save time, and sell more! Sign up to stay in the know. Unsubscribe anytime. 
Lululemon’s bold strategy: $500 million purchase in tough times  


Riding high on a 34.5% year-over-year increase in its stock price, Lululemon Athletica is buying home workout startup Mirror for a half-billion dollars. Despite the hefty price, analysts told Barron’s they like the move. It comes at a time when many people are forced to exercise at home because of COVID-19. The goal of investing heavily in tough times? Create more demand for Lululemon’s popular athletic apparel and Mirror’s wall-mounted device, which retails for $1,295 and features live-streamed and archived workouts for $38 a month. CNBC noted that Lululemon’s total revenue was nearly $652 million as of the quarter ending last month, down 17% from a year ago.

Intriguing ways the industry is capitalizing on its digital makeover

How digitization is fundamentally reshaping the industry is a hot media topic these days. FashionUnited is the latest outlet to examine diverse examples of accelerating changes, some born out of necessity in our suddenly altered world and others because technological innovation makes them possible. Let’s tease two approaches among many detailed in six categories. One is a solution to the pitfalls of the supply and demand model: digitized made-to-order production to reduce overstock and offer consumers customized garments before they’re made. Another is virtual trade shows and showrooms that are rich media experiences for vendors and everyday shoppers alike —  no physical travel required.

Apparel, footwear sales rebound in May but uncertainty remains

Given the deep economic recession, even good news with an asterisk is welcome news. Due to stores reopening, total spending for apparel and footwear in the U.S. in May reached nearly $319 billion, an increase of 43.5% over April. The asterisk? The May numbers were 22.57% below the same month last year, Sourcing Journal reported. The federal Bureau of Economic Analysis released the data on June 26. NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said that “while the freefall in consumer confidence is over, unemployment remains high and confidence is still at recession levels.” With the rate of coronavirus infections nationwide now reaching record highs since the spending figures were compiled, the rebound in economic activity could prove short-lived.

Bright outlook: e-commerce purchases of secondhand clothes

One industry category appears immune to the devastating effects of COVID-19. In fact, online resale of secondhand clothes, growing before stores shuttered — some for good, is suddenly more attractive amid record unemployment. According to CNBC, a new report shows that online secondhand is expected to reach $28 billion this year and reach $64 billion in five years. The leader in the category, ThredUp, said shoppers spent 2.2 million hours on its site in May, an increase of 31% from pre-pandemic numbers. The report, based partly on a survey of 2,000 consumers, also found that 44% of respondents plan to spend more on secondhand, Fashionista reported. Gen-Z shoppers, those born after 1996, are the most enthusiastic.

Iconic figure’s new website takes the ho-hum out of e-commerce

Maybe it takes an audacious, idiosyncratic entertainer-entrepreneur-fashion designer to show e-commerce sites a radically different way to sell. Fast Company describes Kanye West’s soon-to-launch Yeezy Supply site as “what happens when you break all the rules about what constitutes a functional, well-designed website.” FC says the site, featuring West’s collection of shoes, clothes, and accessories, “turns shopping into art.” Among the elements are a video-game feel, the sense you’ve entered a three-dimensional space, simple and austere images, and everyday people whom you choose to model Yeezy creations that catch your eye. Words are absent from some screens or otherwise scarce. Four video snippets in the article show why.

See how Embodee’s new platform works with PLM, other solutions

Embodee’s new 3D web platform was featured last month at a virtual industry event, LiveWorx20, which explored digital tools, strategic solutions, and emerging technologies that are “transforming companies worldwide.” Embodee was part of a session called Integrated Digital Product Creation in an Era of Marketplace Disruption. The company's Orchids™ platform integrates all aspects of digital product creation and easily connects and interacts with other industry solutions. The video shows how the Orchids platform’s workflow integrates with PTC FlexPLM, a leading product lifecycle management solution that helps companies bring innovative products to market faster. Watch the video, and learn more details here.

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