Cannabis Branding, Contrarian Commerce, Shopify of Logistics, Burlington Abandons eCommerce, One Guy Myth, Welcome Technologies Raises $8M, Verticals to Be In

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Why Build A Cannabis Brand When You Can Find Its Soul?

Shawn Gold (CEO Pilgrim Soul) on what to expect in the oncoming wave of cannabis brands

With 70–80% of sales influenced by budtender recommendations, the most important marketing you can do is in-store — that consists of point of purchase displays, education programs, promotions, great packaging, and a simple differentiating story around efficacy and mission.

I might buy some Grateful Dead weed product once as a keepsake or collectible, but I would not pay a premium to smoke it on an ongoing basis, nor would I think for a second that the boys have any involvement in cultivating it.

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What’s Contrarian Commerce?

The non-popular opinion in direct-to-consumer, eCommerce & supply chain.

Fast forward to 33, & looking back on the last 10 years of my career, that mindset’s enabled me to build strategy & technology for over 60 globally recognizable brands in retail, including: Anastasia Beverly Hills, Buscemi, the Frye Company, J Brand Jeans, Rag & Bone, various athletes, celebrities, Getty family members & literally everything in-between.

I can attest, I took a lot of eye rolls & “wtfs” throughout the last 10 years; however, the strategy & technology that I deployed powered over $1B in GMV.

Bond, which has raised $15 million from investors including Lightspeed, wants to become the Shopify of logistics. Here's its gameplan.

Logistics startup Bond plans to expand to more cities after raising $15 million from Lightspeed Venture Partners, MizMaa Ventures, and TLV Partners.

These sorts of properties are more scarce — many were converted into lofts as the US economy moved away from manufacturing and toward a service economy—and are now being hit by steady rent increases as demand outstrips supply.

Shopify, an e-commerce platform t hat provides back office and fulfillment support for online direct to consumer companies, allows brands to keep transactions on their own website, instead of on a marketplace like Amazon.

Burlington exits e-commerce to focus on brick and mortar

The off-price retailer didn't see good economics online. Now it's plotting 54 new stores as it focuses squarely on physical retail.

"E-commerce, when you fully account for the cost of merchandising, processing, shipping, accepting returns, it's very difficult, impossible to make at those price points in the businesses that we compete in," O'Sullivan said, explaining the company's reasoning.

In the conference call, O'Sullivan also unveiled a larger, multi-year strategy for the retailer aimed at holding more liquidity, investing in merchandising and sourcing, operating with leaner inventories and more flexibility throughout its business, and "tightly controlling expenses."

Dorsey, Iger and the Dangerous ‘One Guy’ Myth

A few weeks ago, Bob Iger stepped aside as the CEO of Disney and gave the job to one of his long-time deputies Bob Chapek. It was a routine, safe and, in hindsight, obvious move.And yet, I was supremely bummed. For years now, many people in media, myself included, have speculated who Iger would ...

It was a routine, safe and, in hindsight, obvious move.

Personally, I hoped it would be a fresh new face—a leader with new perspectives and ideas.

Welcome Technologies Raises $8M in Series A Funding | FinSMEs

Welcome Technologies, a Los Angeles, CA-based certified B-corporation connecting immigrants and their families to services that improve their lives, closed an $8M Series A funding

Led by Chairman Raul Lomeli-Azoubel, former VP at Wells Fargo Bank and Chairman of the Board of Directors for MALDEF, and CEO Amir Hemmat, former public policy advisor turned tech entrepreneur, Welcome Technologies provides a platform dedicated to connecting the 250 million global immigrant community with the information, products, and services they need to enter the new country.

By leveraging data garnered from distribution channels, allowing them to reach over 9M immigrants a year, the company has built products and AI powered services across affordable healthcare, micro-loans, educational resources and more.