Weekly News Update // Week of April 20, 2020

Here's TRAUB's roundup of recent retail news. NBC Universal launches a new checkout experience for its content and ads, Hauser and Wirth launches first VR exhibition, Sonos launches free streaming radio service, and more. 


  • JustEat Takeaway $7.6B merger approved, pair pick up $756M in new funding TechCrunch
  • Facebook invests $5.7B in India’s Reliance Jio Platforms TechCrunch
  • Miro lands $50M for digital whiteboard TechCrunch
  • Marketing data platform Adverity raises $30M Series C led by Sapphire Ventures TechCrunch
  • Moshi, a sleep and mindfulness app for kids, raises $12M Series B led by Accel TechCrunch


NBCUniversal Makes its Content and Ads More Shoppable With a New Checkout Experience

NBCUniversal is introducing a new way to incorporate commerce into the viewing and reading experience, which it calls NBCUniversal Checkout. The new product is part of the company’s One Platform ad offering. As demonstrated for me yesterday, it allows the readers of articles and viewers of videos on NBCUniversal properties to click on a featured product, bring up the listing from a partner merchant and make the purchase. While there are other shoppable content and video technologies out there, NBCUniversal’s executive vice president for marketing and advertising creative Josh Feldman told me that the key is that with NBCUniversal checkout, you can complete the entire transaction without actually leaving the article or video. “This is a really unique opportunity for a native shopping experience embedded in content,” Feldman said. TechCrunch


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Outside The Box: Hauser & Wirth Launch First VR Exhibition 

Hauser & Wirth have announced the gallery’s first entirely VR-based exhibition under the newly launched research and innovation arm, ArtLab. Opening on 30 April the group exhibition, entitled ‘Beside Itself’, takes place in the gallery of the future, Hauser & Wirth Menorca, allowing visitors a first look at the art centre ahead of its opening in 2021. Visitors will be able to experience the exhibition created in HWVR, a first in virtual reality exhibition modeling, through the gallery’s website. Artlyst



Sonos Launches Sonos Radio, a Free Streaming Radio Service Including Artist and Genre Stations

Sonos has launched its first in-house music streaming offering: Sonos Radio, a digital streaming radio service that includes both existing radio stations from TuneIn and iHeartRadio, as well as its own original programming through three new products including two ad-free offerings and one ad-supported option.The original streaming options from Sonos include Sonos Sound System; an ad-free single station hosted by Sonos itself, that will play “new and well-known” music, along with snippets of stories from artists about their music, as well as hours guest-hosted by select artists themselves. Sonos says this is all about mixing crowd-pleasers with the occasional song you might’ve missed, in a bid to create a single stream that will have broad appeal. TechCrunch



Within Introduces 'Supernatural,' An In-Home VR Fitness Experience For Oculus Quest

Within today will release Supernatural, the world's first subscription-based, full-body fitness service for virtual reality. Designed for Oculus Quest and paired with your smartphone, Supernatural provides users with expertly coached daily workouts, detailed fitness tracking, an expansive catalog of music and a chance to exercise in the world's most beautiful locations without ever leaving home. "Supernatural," the world’s first membership-based, full-body fitness service for virtual reality. "Supernatural," the world’s first membership-based, full-body fitness service for virtual reality. "We built Supernatural to solve a problem we had," says Within co-founder and CEO, Chris Milk. "Exercise requires long-term commitment to see benefits, but for many offers very little short-term enjoyment. Virtual reality allows us to make home exercise fundamentally fun and something you actually look forward to doing. It's similar to playing a sport you love, but that sport is from the future, and it fits in your bedroom." PRNewswire


Facebook’s $6 Billion India Bet Kindles War With Amazon, Walmart

BMW is making a monum Facebook Inc.’s $5.7 billion investment in a unit of India’s Reliance Industries Ltd. creates an e-commerce leviathan to take on Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc. in one of the world’s most competitive internet arenas.The deal twins WhatsApp with Reliance’s nearly 400 million internet users -- much of that added in just a couple of years -- and nationwide store and logistics network. The pair could start with forays into e-commerce and digital payments, before moving on to segments from online education to virtual health over the longer term, helping transform the industry that’s now mainly the preserve of India’s urban elite. Bloomberg


Chef Daniel Boulud Partners With Non-Profit Meal Delivery Service To Provide Coronavirus Relief For New York

Two-star Michelin chef Daniel Boulud just announced the launch of Food1st. He becomes the inaugural partner for the new 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. The initiative is the brainchild of Marc Holliday, CEO of SL Green Realty—New York’s largest owner of office real estate. Its mission is to deliver food to first responders along with medical personnel and food-insecure families across the city. Between 1,000-2,000 daily meals will make their way out of Boulud’s downtown prep kitchen, starting today. In addition to the help on the frontlines, the organization will also provide jobs to laid off workers from the food and beverage industry. “COVID-19 is a challenge unlike anything we’ve ever faced,” says the chef. “The restaurant industry has been hit particularly hard, but we still have the facilities, ability and desire to safely provide quality, nourishing meals to essential workers and those most in need. We’re looking forward to making a positive contribution and we appreciate having the opportunity to partner with SL Green to make this program possible.” Forbes



  • Lululemon CFO, Patrick Guido, departs BoF
  • Quibi’s Head of Brand Marketing, Megan Imbres, exits after launch WSJ
  • Mango names CFO, Margarita Salvans BoF
  • Ted Baker appoints chairman, John Barton BoF


  • How Are Sports Brands Marketing Without Sports? BoF
  • What to Do With All That Excess Inventory BoF 
  • The Death of the Department Store: ‘Very Few Are Likely to Survive’ NYTimes