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Five Years On: Untangling Instagram’s Growing Web of Influence

By Tom Jenkins for CNN

Instagram’s fifth birthday party had a guest list stretching to 400 million. That’s how many monthly active users the photo-sharing app now has and almost half of them are under 25. In the triumvirate of social media (along with Facebook and Twitter), it’s definitely the cool one.

Much of the platform’s appeal lies in it simplicity, hence developers have changed very little since its inception. But with the introduction of sponsored posts it feel like Instagram is at something of a crossroads. Will it lose its idiosyncratic creative spirit or simply push on to the next level with a whole host of new features?

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Macy’s CEO Defends Role of Stores in E-commerce Era

By Phil Wahba on Fortune

Lundgren says he will only cut so much.

Macy’s  (M 1.89%)  has hit its roughest patch since the Great Depression, prompting the retailer to add to its program of store closings as sales continue to fall.

While the department store chain, which on Wednesday reported its third straight quarter of declining comparable sales, plans to streamline its fleet and weed out dozens of poor locations, there is a limit to how much the retailer will ultimately cut, its CEO Terry Lundgren says.

Even in the age of e-commerce, indeed because of how customers are shopping in the digital sales era, he argues, stores are as valuable as ever.

 

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Farfetch Tries to Reach a Little Further

By Amy Thomson & Matthew Campbell from Bloomberg Businessweek.

The luxury clothing aggregator has hungry investors to please.

José Neves’s online retail company, Farfetch, connects tiny, ultrahigh-end clothing boutiques in 30 countries to shoppers around the world. Farfetch is the site to visit if you simply must have that $13,140 rainbow-patterned, sleeveless llama fur coat by Marni delivered posthaste to your yacht in Capri.

As with any popular clothier, Neves’s challenge is to widen his business without losing the patina of relative exclusivity. (His site’s slogan is “Unfollow.”) In March, Farfetch announced $86 million in funding from the likes of Condé Nast and DST Global at a valuation of $1 billion. It’s spent the rest of 2015 pouring that money into expansion, adding 250 workers to its existing 750 to scout boutiques and business lines. Neves says his company will sell more than $500 million worth of clothes and accessories this year, up from $300 million in 2014.

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