Ikea signs up Kanye West's fashion partner, Amazon's smart home API...and more

Welcome to Marketing's Breakfast Briefing, a daily shot of news and a recap of the best longer reads and videos.

Ikea's new fashion-inspired range
Ikea's new fashion-inspired range

Ikea ties up with Kanye West’s fashion partner

Ikea has unveiled a tie up with menswear designer Katie Eary, the long-time fashion partner of rapper Kanye West.

The Swedish retailer’s new Giltig homeware range features Eary’s renowned psychedelic digital prints that consist of fiery eyeballs and blue cats.

The collaboration appears to explain a tweet sent by Kanye West in March about Ikea, which left observers baffled by the significance. 

The new Ikea range is already available online.   

It represents the first of three ‘fashion-forward’ interiors collections to arrive at Ikea this year.

Source: GQ

Amazon releases API to add more smart home capabilities to Alexa

Amazon products that run on the Alexa software, which already powers personal assistance device Echo, will soon get new home automation skills following the release of an API.

Smart lighting development tools for Echo originally appeared last year and have been fleshed out to make the new Smart Home API.

It is believed Amazon is expanding Alexa’s capabilities in order to make Alexa a major part of home automation.

Source: ZDNet

High street sales fall in March

Mother's Day and Easter falling early in March failed to save a high street sales decline last month.

Sales were down 1% year-on-year in March after a month of peaks and troughs.

Fashion sales were down 2.5 per cent on March 2015, while lifestyle goods sales were up 2.4 per cent.

BDO head of retail and wholesale Sophie Michael said: "Heavy downpours over Easter did not encourage spending".

She added: "With a disappointing start to 2016, retailers were banking on the early Mother's Day and Easter delivering positive year-on-year sales in March.

"It is now more important than ever for retailers to truly understand their customers and offer the right product mix and shopping experience combined with strategic promotions to entice shoppers into stores.

"With a weak pound and as the National Living Wage starts to take effect, retailers will have to think hard on which actions will best deliver consumer spending, while keeping an eye on the impact on margins and their operating costs."

Source: City AM

Catch up with some of our longer reads...

The millennial dilemma: generation, mindset or irrelevance?

It's tempting (and useful) for marketers to put people in neat demographic boxes. But, as consumer lives become more fluid, age-agnostic and globally minded, is it time to put a stop to generational generalisations, asks Rebecca Coleman.

Motherhood, interrupted: brands must be sensitive to the stresses of digital parenting

At a time when parenting is endlessly interrupted by digital communication and social media, brands must beware of exacerbating the pressure on women, writes Nicola Kemp.

If you watch one video today...

...hear what the public think of the Conservative government spending £5m to promote the new National Living Wage.

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1 Publicis Groupe withdraws from marketing and awards to focus on AI-powered platform Marcel

Publicis Groupe is pulling out of all marketing activity for the next 365 days - and won't be entering awards at Cannes next year - as it focuses its resources on developing Marcel, described by chief executive Arthur Sadoun as a ground breaking new platform.

Job description: Digital marketing executive
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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).

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