Wal-Mart and the Last Stand of Retail

As Amazon.com has been smashing sales and stock price records, destroying entire retail verticals in the process, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers spent the last decade battling to remain relevant, in what sometimes appears as a battle lost before it began. Many predict 2017 will be the year when many traditional retailers close their doors for good. As more and more smaller retailers go out of business or consolidate through mergers and acquisitions, Amazon's march to retail domination will inevitably end up with a showdown with the largest traditional retailers, headed by Wal-Mart. Wal…

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Are people buying Snap Spectacles?

In the S-1 filing for its recent blockbuster IPO, Snap, the company behind Snapchat, referred to itself as a "camera company". Its first camera product, the "Spectacles", is a pair of brightly colored glasses with an embedded camera that records 10-second videos and uploads them to Snapchat. Spectacles were initially given to celebrities and sold through "bots" - vending machines positioned in locations not advertised ahead of time. Then, on February 20th, spectacles became available to purchase online. Using our panel of over 3 million credit and debit cards, we looked at sales in the month f…

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Grocery Delivery is Ready for Big Time (Again)

Instacart, the grocery delivery startup, last week raised a massive $400 million round of funding, valuing the company at a whopping $3.4 billion. It seems that the grocery delivery service space is ready for big time...again. Fifteen years ago, the first dot-com bust notoriously disposed of Webvan, the previous internet grocery store that raised hundreds of millions of dollars. We used the TXN consumer spending analytics app (with a panel of over 3 million payment cards in the U.S.) to analyze the grocery delivery app landscape and see if grocery delivery's time has finally come: Over the la…

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#DeleteUber Revisited

Three weeks ago we looked at credit card transaction data to see if the #DeleteUber campaign was having an effect on Uber's share of ridesharing market vs. Lyft, its largest competitor. We saw that indeed, Lyft surged following Uber's bad publicity. It seems that it's been "another day - another scandal" for Uber ever since: On February 19th, ex-Uber engineer Susan Fowler, in a widely shared account, alleged widespread discrimination and harassment by managers and other employees to which Uber's HR department had failed to respond. Here's an updated look at market share using our panel of tra…

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From Cord to Stream

It's a familiar story: for the last decade or so, cable and satellite TV providers have been losing subscribers, as "cord cutters" shift their spending from traditional TV to on-demand streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. But is that really what's happening? We used our panel of over 3 million credit and debit cards to find out. We compared three groups of customers: 1. "Cord cutters": those who were cable/satellite customers in the first half of 2016 (spent $300 or more) and then stopped being cable/satellite customers in the second half of 2016 (spent $100 or less) 2. Consistent cable…

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