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Article -- Total Retail -- 2/10/16

Total Retail's sixth annual list of leading female executives in the retail industry. Go to full article...

What do you enjoy most about working in the retail industry?

My dad was a small business owner, Arel's Flowers and Gifts, for 35 years. It just closed this year. The store was another member of our family and a big part of our small community in Minnesota. It was so much more than a place people went to transact. That's what I love about retail. It isn't just about a P and L. It's about people, places and behaviors. The trends in the worlds of politics, fashion, technology, economics and geography all show up in retail in the way people shop. It's always changing. There's always a new day and something new to learn. I find it fascinating.

If you weren't working in the retail industry, what do you think you'd be doing?

There are so many things I would love to try. Top two on my list: one, a professor. I love the curiosity and learning buzzing in academic environments. And two, run a vineyard in Napa Valley. I think Napa Valley is about the best place in the world. After spending years living in San Francisco and getting married there two years ago, I would love to be a part of the culture that is that region. (And spend my days drinking wine with great people!)

How would you describe your leadership style?

In 10 words: approachable, open, driven, collaborative, decisive, empowering, honest, grounded, fun and curious.

What's the best advice you've ever received, and who gave you the advice?

Your career is a marathon, not a sprint … be patient. Lori Kratchmer, who was my boss and a director of planning at Target, gave me this advice very early in my career when I was itching to do something new. Now, I give it to people, and myself, all the time.

Do you have any mentors in the retail industry?

Yes. I've been lucky to work for and alongside many amazing people throughout my career, who I really think of as my board of directors. From my first job at Target through my tenure at Gap and now at Amazon, these people have guided me, pushed me, paused me and taken big risks on me. I work hard at maintaining and nurturing these relationships and wouldn't be where I am without them.

What do you enjoy doing when you're not working?

Hanging out with my 10-month old daughter, time with friends and family spread out all over the country, new restaurants (preferably with 5:30 reservations), good books and piles of magazines (yes, I still read actual books and magazines), binge watching television (currently "Making of a Murderer" and re-watching "30 Rock").


Article -- The Atlantic -- 7/7/15

With its same-day delivery and a mobile-first mentality, Diapers.com is currently doing business in the environment that other retailers will inevitably have to adapt to. Go to full article...

For many new mothers, the experience of early parenthood means having a smartphone in one hand and a baby in the other. Common tasks include: searching Google Images for horrifying rashes, watching instructional YouTube videos on swaddling, acting as their baby's own personal paparazza, texting photos to grandparents, and, of course, shopping online. Among other parenting pitfalls, new mothers must also now try to avoid giant giraffes, colorful tunnels, and other impulse buys they might regret in the morning.

"Moms send us stories all the time of nursing her baby at 3 a.m., realizing she's almost out of diapers or some other essential, placing an order with us through our app, and having the package show up at her door later that day," said Michal Geller, a senior vice president of marketing and business development for Diapers.com, one entity in the baby-industrial complex—the diaper market alone is expected to reach $52 billion globally by 2017. "Same-day delivery is a game-changer for busy moms."

While most shoppers are taking to mobile retail steadily but slowly, Diapers.com customers are largely already there. Last year, mobile shopping accounted for just 1 percent of the multi-trillion-dollar retail market in the United States, according to TechCrunch. Meanwhile, some 50 percent of Diapers.com purchases were made on a mobile device. That's up from about 25 percent of purchases from the site in 2013, Geller told me.

The company has invested heavily in attracting mobile shoppers: Its app is specifically designed for one-handed use (leaving the other hand free for baby) and a customer's shopping cart stays connected to his or her account throughout the browsing process, even when bouncing between a laptop and a smartphone. (The app's reviews section is awash in references to shopping while mothering: "Lifesaver! Last week I placed an order with one hand while holding my newborn and my 2 year old ran around," one user wrote.)

In other words, Diapers.com is already doing business in the environment that other retailers will inevitably enter, which is probably one of the factors Amazon considered when it bought Diapers.com—and its family of sites, including Soap.com and AfterSchool.com—for $550 million in 2010. (Though the sites operate independently from Amazon, they share backend resources: Diapers.com has access to Amazon warehouses, software, and other processes—plus the sites swap data about their customers, though Geller declined to elaborate on exactly what gets shared.)

Shoppers in the United States still do most of their online shopping by laptop or desktop, according to a May report by the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. Only about 15 percent of online shopping is done on mobile devices. But that number is expected to increase dramatically as two other changes take place: Overall time spent online continues to grow, and time spent browsing on mobile overtakes time spent browsing on desktops and laptops. Some of what Diapers.com has already learned about mobile shopping is surprising, and perhaps hints at more of what's to come. For example:

* Mobile customers who shop in the wee hours (between midnight and 5 a.m.) spend a much longer time shopping than their daytime counterparts. Night owls were more likely to browse than buy, and their sessions were 30 percent longer than those who shopped between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m.

* Mobile shopping is mostly happening from home or at work rather than on the go. Some 75 percent of mobile shopping takes place over wifi networks rather than data networks, spokespeople told me. "Many of our customers cite that they place orders on their Diapers.com app while rocking or nursing their baby," Geller said.

* Smartphone use is going up as tablet use is going down. In the past year, the percentage of total orders on Diapers.com coming from tablets has "decreased significantly" despite the overall growth in mobile, Geller said.

"The modern mom, I see it from my wife and from my wife's friends, the phone has become such a useful tool to have at her side and in her pocket and in her hand," Geller said. "We're going to continue to see growth in that area. We absolutely believe that the phone is mom's co-pilot to some degree. To the extent that we want to be her best friend, we see those things go hand in hand."

Diapers.com sees mothers as its core shoppers. Which makes sense: New mothers, especially, are thought to be a key demographic for brands that want to establish loyalty. Early parenthood is one of a few times in life when people find themselves evaluating new products that they'll potentially continue to buy (often in bulk) for years. And once that brand loyalty is set, it can be hard to shake: People who buy Tide laundry detergent, for instance, named it as one of the few brands they refused to switch out for a cheaper generic alternative during the recession, one survey showed. (Coca-Cola was another.)

"We made a conscious decision to think of our customer as a mom," Geller said. "For right or for wrong, moms are still the primary unit in the household that makes these decisions. We know that by solving mom's problems we'll also solve dad's or the grandparent's or the babysitter's problems. But in terms of helping our team stay extremely focused on the customer, the phrase we keep using internally is, 'modern mom's best friend.'"

Women, many of them mothers, are believed to control nearly three-quarters of household spending, amounting to more than $4 trillion a year, according to a 2009 Advertising Age white paper. So, what may seem like a luxury delivery service for a niche customer base may turn out to be a pretty good proxy for the direction of mobile commerce overall.

Adrienne LaFrance is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Technology and Health sections. She was previously an investigative reporter for Honolulu Civil Beat, Nieman Journalism Lab, and WBUR.


Article -- Geekwire.com -- 12/17/14

Wag.com, owned by Amazon-owned Quidsi, just launched its Pet Tech Shop, which is chock-a-block full of cool gadgets and gear for your pet. Go to full article...

If you're someone who stops over at the pet store at least once a week, walking out with an armful of unnecessary toys and treats for your favorite little dog or cat, this site is probably for you.

Wag.com, owned by Amazon-owned Quidsi, just launched its Pet Tech Shop, which is chock-a-block full of cool gadgets and gear for your pet. Remote Treat Dispensers! Smart pet doors! And the PetSafe Train N Praise Potty Training System, which gives your pet a treat every time they use the pee pad! Lord, I wish I had this about six months ago.

The site reports that it has grown 24 percent this year and that “pet tech is also driving sales.” GPS trackers for pets are outpacing overall site's sales by up to three times. If you're still shopping for your pet, it's probably worth a look.

Molly Brown comes from an arts and culture background, including stints at Billboard Magazine and Kirkus Reviews. An avid blogger on all-things culture, she covers a wide range of fun, geeky topics on GeekWire's Geek Life beat. Follow her @evilmolly and reach her at molly@geekwire.com.

Amazon-Owned Sites Including Diapers.com Roll Out Free Overnight Shipping To Select Markets

Article -- TechCrunch-- 11/5/14

Amazon subsidiary Quidsi, which operates a number of single-word domains like Diapers.com, is bringing free overnight shipping to three major U.S. metro areas starting today... Go to full article...

Amazon subsidiary Quidsi, which operates a number of single-word domains like Diapers.com, is bringing free overnight shipping to three major U.S. metro areas starting today: greater New York, San Francisco, and L.A. The service will be available only on orders of $49 or more made from select Quidsi-operated sites including Diapers.com, Soap.com and Wag.com.

The news comes on the heels of an earlier announcement, also out this morning, that Quidsi corporate parent Amazon is expanding its same-day delivery service outside the U.S., giving Canadians in Toronto and Vancouver access for the first time to Amazon-fueled instant gratification.

It's likely that Quidsi chose Diapers.com, Soap.com and Wag.com as the initial sites to offer free overnight delivery because they are those that carry the more urgently-needed supplies, such as baby care products like diapers and wipes, household essentials like toilet paper and detergent, and pet supplies like dog food.

Overnight delivery in these markets is not limited to the municipal borders of the cities in question, says Quidsi, but is offered to a range of zip codes for the wider metro areas. If you're in one of those regions, you can see if your zip code is on the list here. If you're not, Quidsi still offers free shipping on orders over $49 in one to two days, the company claims.

Shoppers on Quidsi sites can also access a shared shopping cart that spans between the many properties Quidsi runs, which also includes luxury beauty site BeautyBar.com, toy site YoYo.com,housewares and decor site Casa.com, natural and organic grocery store VineMarket.com, kids sports and activity gear AfterSchool.com, kids' books site Bookworm.com and kids' clothing site Look.com. However, these other sites are not included in the free, overnight shipping deal – at least not at this time.

Quidsi says that the expanded shipping option is not a holiday promotion, but will now be offered to customers going forward.


Press release -- 4/11/13

From the people behind Diapers.com and Soap.com, new site makes shopping for fashionable and fun kids' clothing easier for parents.

JERSEY CITY, NJ - Apr. 11, 2013 - Quidsi, Inc. today announced the launch of Look.com (www.look.com), an online shopping destination for children's apparel and footwear. The new site offers parents an extensive, easy-to-shop online store with everything from must-have basics and classic styles to the trendiest colors and designs for babies, tweens and everyone in between.

With more than 40,000 apparel and footwear items, and 150+ brands for children sizes ranging from zero to 14, the site makes it easy for parents to find everything they need to keep up with their children's changing tastes and seemingly overnight growth. Look.com also offers parents fast and free 1-2 day delivery on orders of $35 or more. And, all items are backed by Look.com's 365-day guarantee, no-hassle return policy.

"We know shopping for, or with, your child can be a stressful experience - from searching and finding styles and sizes that you both like, to dealing with dressing room meltdowns and unexpected returns," said Ganesh Rao, Site Leader of Look.com. "With the wide variety of clothing available in our browsable closet, combined with quick delivery and free 365-day returns, parents can help their kids feel ready to take on the world one thread at a time."

Visitors to Look.com will find a wide variety of styles and brands for every age and phase including Carter's, Keds, Joe's Jeans, Columbia Sportswear, Splendid, and Pink Chicken - all at reasonable prices.

Shoppers can also look forward to a fast, simple and seamless shopping experience on Look.com with a shared shopping cart across all ten sites in the Familyhood, including Diapers.com, Soap.com, Wag.com, BeautyBar.com, YoYo.com, Casa.com, VineMarket.com, AfterSchool.com and Bookworm.com. Notably, all of the sites offer Quidsi's legendary fast and free shipping with $35 minimum purchase, massive selection for every shopping need and award-winning customer care for busy people everywhere.

About Look.com Look.com will help you outfit your kids in the clothes both you and they love. From baby basics and cool kids' classics to must-wear sneakers and trendy new favorites, you'll find it all for infants to tweens in our big browsable closet - without the dressing room drama. For more information, visit www.look.com

About Quidsi, Inc.Quidsi owns and operates Diapers.com (baby care), Soap.com (health, beauty and household essentials), BeautyBar.com (luxury beauty), Wag.com (pet supplies), YoYo.com (toys), Casa.com (housewares and decor), VineMarket.com (natural and organic goods), AfterSchool.com (kids' sports/activity gear), Bookworm.com (children's books) and Look.com (kids' clothing). All ten easy-to-navigate sites are linked together by the Familyhood promise to make life a little easier with fast, free shipping on orders over $35, award-winning 24/7 customer care and one shared cart and checkout. Quidsi continues to redefine e-commerce by changing the way people shop for almost every part of their lives. At Quidsi (Latin for "what if"), we dare to think big and explore possibilities.

CONTACT Kate Scarpa, Weber Shandwick for Quidsi, 212.445.8094 kscarpa@webershandwick.com