The New York Times: “Jimmy Choo is planning to unveil its latest innovation: not a new heel height or shape, but a collection of crystal clip-ons, buttons and bracelets that can decorate pumps and clutches and peep-toe ankle-laced stilettos (even slip-on skater shoes) … to luxe up an otherwise simple pair of shoes according to individual desire.”
“This follows the introduction of Gucci DIY stage 2, a service in the brand’s flagship store in Milan that allows customization of jackets, tuxedos, coats and shoes. Then there’s Opening Ceremony’s new ’embroidery station,’ a sewing machine tucked away in the SoHo store where customers can personalize shirts and jackets with patches and graphics. The service will soon expand to hand-painting, airbrushing and hand embroidery.”
“Theoretically there are protections built in to the customization process, in that the options have been approved by the designer and there are advisers on hand … At least when it comes to the Jimmy Choo offering, nothing is irrevocable since everything is removable … Gucci has preselected the places where DIYers can choose to put their desired patch or initials or embroidery, and Carol Lim of Opening Ceremony … mused, ‘If someone wanted to go really crazy and embellish everywhere, would we say, You can’t do that? We haven’t so far’.”
The Bookseller: “Jodie Archer, a former publisher and consultant, and Matthew Jockers, co-founder of Stanford University’s Literary Lab, have built an algorithm aimed at proving that mega-hits are predictable. The system, which analyses theme, plot, style and character to predict whether a manuscript will be a bestseller, has looked at 20,000 novels using “cutting-edge text-mining techniques”. The duo’s efforts are charted in a new book, The Bestseller Code to be published by Allen Lane in September.”
“The authors claims that it is correct ‘over eighty percent of the time.’ However the selection of The Circle, which according to Nielsen BookScan in the UK, has sold 43,638 copies in paperback since spring 2014, and never appeared in the Top 50 or any of The Bookseller’s fiction charts, could prove controversial. The Eggers book—the novel which scored 100% on the algorithm—is described as ‘the single most paradigmatic bestseller of the past 30 years’.”
Jodi Archer comments: “The maverick editor that wants to do something new, to start a new trend, that’s not going to happen using technology.” Yet she says that the algorithm will
“actually be very good” at identifying likely best-sellers.
The Washington Post: “In its newest national TV ad, the world’s biggest brewer portrays itself as a staunch defender of paying women as much as men … But the ads highlight an awkward reality for the beer giant — and the rest of corporate America.”
“In the Bud Light ad, (Seth) Rogen and (Amy) Schumer discuss how women must often pay more for the same things, a problem consumer advocates call the ‘gender tax.’ When Schumer says women are charged more for cars, dry cleaning and shampoo (among other things), Rogen says, ‘You pay more but get paid less? That is double wrong!’ Shumer says: “That’s why Bud Light costs the same, no matter if you’re a dude or a lady.”
So, The Washington Post asked “Anheuser-Busch InBev, the Belgian beer conglomerate that brews Bud Light, whether it pays the thousands of men and women in its workforce equally … The company won’t say. It declined to provide data on how many women it employs, how much those women are paid, and how that pay compares to their male colleagues.”
The New York Times: “Spirit Airlines is ready to shake off its bad-boy streak and grow up a little … the new chief executive, Robert Fornaro, six months into his job, says he is ready to put a new face on Spirit and a new emphasis on customer service. The makeover also includes toning down the frat-boy image, cleaning up the cabins and maybe even getting more of the planes to arrive on time.”
He comments: “There is a big change in terms of focusing on our operations. This is how we want to be viewed: on time, friendly, clean and efficient.”
“Mr. Fornaro … argues that he can improve on-time and complaint ratings without incurring higher costs … By paying to improve operations, he said, the airline would cut down on expenses in other areas, like fees it incurs when it has to reimburse passengers for canceled flights. It would also cut down on overtime needed to pay staff who work longer hours because of delays. ‘If we run a better operation, we’ll have lower recovery costs,’ he said.”
The New York Times: “The pronounced stock shortage inside the Librairie des Puf … is not the result of an ordering mistake, but the heart of the shop’s business model. There are books, but they are not delivered in advance from wholesalers. They are printed on request, before the customer’s very eyes, on an Espresso Book Machine … It is a radical reinvention of a store that first opened its doors in 1921.”
“Independent bookstores … are beginning to carve a path out of their business’s decade of decline. ‘It’s an industry which is very much starting to rebound,’ said Nick Brackenbury, one of the founders of NearSt,” which “aims to help local shops adapt to the needs of the modern customers by making local shop inventories ‘shoppable’ from a smartphone, allowing customers to search for titles, find local stores that sell them and see routes there.”
“We just want local stores to be able to offer customers something which is just better than Amazon,” Mr. Brackenbury said.