It’s only been a week since Black Friday, yet it seems like it was a century ago. With all the big news from this week, it’s easy to forget that history has a way of not only repeating itself, but also providing blueprints on where to go.
Time, as a wise man once said, is a flat circle. Here’s a look at some stories from the week from a time perspective:
157 years: That’s how old Bloomingdales, the department store for the rich and fabulous, is. (Though it doesn’t look a day over 120.) On Wednesday, the company brought in designer Jonathan Adler, multimedia artist Jason Bruges, and a suite of LG executives to talk about “the intersection of technology, art, fashion and design, as well as how they will impact how consumers incorporate smart technology into their homes,” staff writer Lisa Lacy reported. The reason for the event: LG is now selling luxury, high-end appliances (like a $7,000 refrigerator, which, incidentally, keeps your milk just as cold as $200 model).
Lacy wrote from the event:
At the event, Bloomingdale’s Home Fashion Director Joe Weiner noted the department store serves five generations of consumers, and it’s hard to find high-tech gadgets that appeal to them all, which is why Bloomingdale’s has historically carried tech-infused products that push the envelope a bit (like digital picture frames, devices that keep drinks at an optimal temperature and self-cleaning water bottles).
154 years: That’s how long ago the world’s first advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson, opened its doors. This week, editor Patrick Coffee broke the news that JWT was merging with the 60-year-old upstart agency Wunderman to form Wunderman Thompson.
Coffee reported that new WPP CEO, Mark Read, who took over for Martin Sorrell earlier in the year, isn’t done moving the holding company forward:
WPP sources have already stated the obvious: Read will make some major announcements at next month’s meeting. And consensus holds that there will be more mergers to come.
“This won’t be the last move of its kind in this holding group. There are still too many disparate assets set up to drive WPP revenue rather than client needs,” said Greg Paull, principal at consultancy R3.
10 years: That’s how long Unilever’s CEO, Paul Polman, has led the consumer product giant. Earlier this week, Polman announced his retirement after four decades in the CPG industry. Alan Jope, the company’s current president of beauty and personal care, will take the helm on Jan. 1. Staff writer Katie Richards reported:
During his time at Unilever (the parent company to brands including Dove, Axe and Lipton) Polman is credited with bringing total shareholder return to 290 percent in his 10 years as CEO. He also made it a mission to turn the company into a purpose-driven organization with the creation of the Sustainable Living Plan—a plan to reduce the company’s global footprint by focusing on water use, sustainable sourcing, smart packaging and waste and much more.
Under Polman, Unilever also made some major deals including buying Dollar Shave Club in a $1 billion deal.
7 years: That’s when digital media company Mic began. Unfortunately, we learned this week that the company is pulling the plug. After raising $60 million, with a valuation of a little north of $100 million just two short years ago, Mic is selling to Bustle Digital Media Group for about $5 million. The company made big bets on and with Facebook that ultimately didn’t pan out. Adweek media reporter Sara Jerde reported:
[S]ources told Adweek the looming cancellation of its Facebook Watch program, Mic Dispatch, has made the financial situation at the New York-based company dire and could result in mass editorial layoffs as soon as Thursday.
Time. It keeps on ticking.