DemandJump Secures $6 Million Funding Round

DemandJump, a customer acquisition platform, has completed a $6 million Series A financing round. The capital was funded by a group investors including Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Flyover Capital, Cultivation Capital, 4G Ventures, Bob Davoli and Hyde Park Venture Partners.

The marketing platform plans to use the capital on sales, marketing and product innovation expansion.

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Tax Cuts Boost Hudson’s Bay Q4 Earnings To $84 Million

Hudson’s Bay Co., the parent company of Hudson’s Bay, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Gilt, drove positive quarterly results despite being unable to end its sales slide. Net income for the Canadian department store was $84 million in Q4 2017, compared to a net loss of $152 million in the fourth quarter a year earlier, but the improvement included a $181 million tax gain resulting from U.S. tax reforms.

Tax savings have been a major topic for retailers over the past few months, ever since the U.S. House and Senate passed the new tax reform bill on Dec. 20, 2017. The National Retail Federation (NRF) lauded the bill, which reduced corporate tax rates for retailers from as high as 38% to as low as 21%. Like Hudson’s Bay Co., many other retailers will be receiving these tax gains in their quarterly filings, essentially artificially boosting net profit totals.

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Warby Parker Raises $75 Million Ahead Of Possible IPO

One month after revealing a goal to expand to 100 U.S. stores, Warby Parker has unveiled how it plans on funding this level of growth. The eyewear retailer has raised $75 million, bringing its total funding to date to nearly $300 million.

T. Rowe Price, an asset management firm, led the Series E round. Warby Parker said it plans to use the money for research and development and technology investments. One recent initiative is the Prescription Check mobile app, which lets eligible customers complete vision tests at home and acquire a new prescription without having to visit an eye doctor in person.

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Alibaba Founders Take $20 Million Stake In Rent The Runway

Rent the Runway has received a $20 million investment from Blue Pool Capital, a fund that invests the wealth of Alibaba founders Jack Ma and Joe Tsai, according to a report in Recode. This financing round values Rent the Runway at slightly under $800 million, according to research firm Lagniappe Labs.

Rent the Runway was already profitable on an earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) basis, and Co-Founder/CEO Jennifer Hyman wasn’t planning on looking for new capital. The company’s last fundraising round was in 2016, when it secured a $60 million Series E investment led by Fidelity. However, Hyman saw the involvement of Alibaba’s founders as a unique opportunity for the retailer.

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Glossier Raises $52 Million To ‘Keep Building The Beauty Company Of The Future’

Glossier, a direct-to-consumer beauty brand, has secured $52 million in Series C funding, bringing total venture capital to $86 million. Existing investors IVP and Index Ventures led the round, with participation from existing investors Thrive Capital, Forerunner Ventures and 14W. New investors Imaginary Ventures and Starbucks founder Howard Schultz also joined.

Founder and CEO Emily Weiss sent an email blast this morning to all Glossier subscribers with the headline “Business News (It’s Good),” explaining how the new cash infusion would be used for, “More of the same, really. Just keep building the beauty company of the future: the one you shape.”

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Wall Street Wakeup: New Business Metrics Define Retail Success

The host of the NPR business show Marketplace often asserts that Wall Street is not the economy (usually before he shares the day’s Dow Jones gains or losses). For retailers, particularly publicly held companies, Wall Street valuations definitely are part of their economy — even though those valuations don’t always correspond with today’s retail realities.

For example, on Feb. 20, Walmart reported that it had only half the online sales growth in Q4 that it had in Q3, sending the company’s stock down more than 10% before market closing — the company’s biggest one-day decline since Jan. 8, 1988. The dip accounted for nearly one-third of that day’s Dow Jones 255-point drop, revealing a short-term lack of confidence in Walmart’s long-term strategy — despite a sustained record of e-Commerce success since Walmart’s acquisition of Jet.com in August 2016.

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Brick-And-Mortar Financial Index Dips 4.54% Year-To-Date

The rise of e-Commerce has had a major impact on more than just retailers. It has reshaped how investors, businesses and policymakers view the industry. Simply put, as brick-and-mortar retailers shrink in square footage and lose share to online sales, it becomes more difficult to quantify their performance.

Solactive, a developer of financial indices, and ProShares, a provider of exchange-traded funds (ETF), sought to change that by creating an index to benchmark the modern brick-and-mortar landscape. The Solactive-ProShares Bricks and Mortar Retail Store Index, developed in November 2017, is designed to provide a snapshot of how the market views the health of the sector.

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