Morning Brew - ☕ Social climber

Social media marketing for retailers.
March 18, 2024

Retail Brew

It’s Monday, and we would like to know a little more about you. So do us a solid, and fill out this survey if you can. It’ll help us tailor our coverage, and enter you in a drawing for a $250 AmEx gift card. It should only take about five minutes, and we appreciate you in advance.

In today’s edition:

—Erin Cabrey, Katishi Maake


Pro tips

A retail storefront surrounded by social media icon logos on a field of blue Amelia Kinsinger

The landscape of social media marketing seems to be evolving at breakneck speed. From new platforms and a rapidly expanding array of influencers, to new memes and trending sounds going in and out of style every day, it can be hard to keep up. This is particularly true for brands and retailers who not only want to attract eyes to their pages, but convert those views to sales.

To avoid the viral “All that work and what did it get me?” TikTok sound ringing a bit too true for your social media marketing efforts, Retail Brew spoke to some experts on strategies for success.

Shopping around

One of the biggest challenges of social media marketing is converting content to sales, as most people don’t use social media to buy products, but to be entertained. Finding a way to combine selling with entertainment is crucial, Kinshuk Jerath, professor of business in the marketing division at Columbia Business School, noted.

Keep reading here.—EC



Influence like a boss

The quickest way to level up your retail game? Enlist influencers and affiliates. Influencers promote your brand, showcase products, and make your biz the talk of the town. But creating a successful program requires some know-how.

That’s where comes in. Check out their uber-practical infographic: How influencers and affiliates can help you boost your business. You’ll get the scoop on building a top-notch framework for influencer and affiliate success.

What exactly is in this bad boy? You’ll learn how to:

  • Discover the full-funnel advantage of combining affiliates and influencers.
  • Unify affiliate and influencer marketing efforts with a centralized platform.
  • Simplify operational complexities, boost ROAS, and scale effortlessly.

If you’re ready to experience the power of affiliate and influencer marketing, get a demo with


Fresh roots

Ulta Beauty store entrance sign at a mall, northern Idaho. (Photo by: Do... Education Images/Getty Images

On its latest earnings call, Ulta reported a rosy fourth quarter, thanks to a strong holiday performance and mass cosmetics success, and also shared news on its international expansion.

Net sales rose 10.2% to $3.6 billion in Q4, and comparable sales grew 2.5%. For the full year, net sales increased 9.8% to $11.2 billion, while comparable sales jumped 5.7%. Comparable sales in Q4 and the full year were impacted by lower dollar sales, however, as shoppers bought fewer products per transaction.

  • CEO Dave Kimbell said the company secured mid-single-digit comparable growth during the holiday period.

The beauty retailer announced a joint venture with global brands operator Axo, and plans to expand Ulta to Mexico in 2025. Kimbell said the Mexican beauty market has “healthy awareness” of Ulta, and COO Kecia Steelman noted that its border stores have performed well. The retailer also plans to open 60 to 65 new US stores in 2024, including 10 small format stores.

Keep reading here.—EC



Talking shop

Nike earnings China Robert Way/Getty Images

Happy Monday, and welcome back everyone. We hope those who participated in St. Patrick’s Day activities this weekend are recovering well, and we also hope you were able to catch your flight, because there’s a lot of IRL retail networking going down this week. Let’s jump into it.

Also, today and tomorrow, just down the Strip, Brand Innovators is hosting its Evolution of Retail Summit at the Wynn to discuss many of the same subjects.

In earnings: As we’ve previously covered, things are a little hairy in the athleticwear world, and Nike is no exception. The company will have its Q3 earnings call Thursday, which could provide a glimpse at how its comeback strategy is going so far.

Keep reading here.—KM



Today’s top retail reads.

Self-control: Target began limiting most of its self-checkout lanes to shoppers with 10 items or fewer. (CBS News)

Remote control: Dell told workers that if they choose to work fully remotely, they won’t be considered for a promotion or be able to shift to another role. (Business Insider)

Menu bar: Why restaurants usually only give tables one alcoholic drink menu. (Marketplace)

Number boost: Influencers and affiliates can help you take your biz to the next level. Fortunately, just put together an infographic that can help you crush it. Peep it.*

*A message from our sponsor.


At the mall, it’s where band tees are the only tees. In Retail Brew, it’s where we invite readers to weigh in on a trending retail topic.

As we noted in Swapping SKUs above, Dell has a new return-to-office policy that employees who choose to work fully remotely won’t be considered for promotions or lateral reassignments.

You tell us: Is it reasonable to exclude remote employees from promotion? Cast your vote here.

Circling back: Last week, we asked you if you agreed with a provision in a proposed retail worker safety law in New York that would require retailers with more than 50 employees to install panic buttons. Nearly two-thirds (64.4%) of you agreed that those large retailers should install panic buttons, while 26.7% didn’t support the notion and 8.9% didn’t know or weren’t sure.


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