May
 02
 2017



Ulrike

Good morning

As the fashion market is evolving at a head-spinning pace, we are working tirelessly to keep you informed about the latest global developments in this ever-changing industry. While LVMH and Amazon are increasing their investments in growth initiatives, embattled names like J. Crew and Clarks continue to cut jobs to reduce costs. Robots and computers will soon take on more repetitive tasks, so humans should concentrate on creativity and the emphatic human touch. Enjoy the read!



brands

LMVH buys remaining stake in Christian Dior. In a deal worth $13.1bn , French fashion and lifestyle conglomerate LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton is taking full control over luxury brand Christian Dior. According to a press release by LVMH, the purchase should ensure the regrouping of the entire Dior brand, further enhancing synergies between Christian Dior Couture and Parfums Christian Dior.



More layoffs at Clarks. After slashing hundreds of jobs from its workforce in 2016, British shoe company Clarks will soon eliminate 60 additional jobs from its headquarters in Street, Somerset.





retail

J. Crew announces hundreds of job cuts... Highly leveraged fashion retailer J. Crew is slashing 150 full-time jobs and eliminating 100 open positions, primarily at its corporate headquarters in New York City. According to CEO Millard Drexler, the goal is to save approximately $30 million per year.



...and Amazon might be the culprit. Over the next 18 months, Amazon is expected to add about 100,000 jobs . But that number is minimal compared to the fact that by some estimates, Amazon might destroy over 1.5 million retail jobs in the next five years. But even Amazon might not be infallible. Raymond James has downgraded its rating from outperform to market perform, claiming the online giant needs to show better profitability. This is Amazon's first downgrade from a major sell-side firm in over a year.



Bankrupt Gander Mountain Company has found a suitor. According to unnamed sources, Midvale, Utah-based outdoor sporting goods retailer Sportsman's Warehouse Holdings Inc is interested in acquiring up to 80 stores of bankrupt hunting and fishing gear retailer Gander Mountain Company. Sportsman's Warehouse currently operates 79 stores, primarily in the Western part of the US, while St. Paul, Minnesota-based Gander Mountain has about 160 locations in the East.





people

J. Crew shuffles management. As a part of its ongoing reorganization, J.Crew is overhauling its top-management team . Michael Nicholson, Group president, CFO and COO of J. Crew Group Inc, will also take over responsibility for the J.Crew brand. Menswear Head Frank Muytjens is exiting the company.Libby Wadle, wo most recently served as President of the J. Crew brand, has been named President of sister brand Madewell, while Lisa Greenwald has been moved from her position as Senior Vice Preisdent of Merchandising at Madewell to Chief Merchandsing Officer of the J. Crew brand.



Wal-Mart brings in start-up talent. Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc has hired Jennifer Fleiss , co-founder of the online rental service for luxury fashion, Rent the Runway, to head its personalized retail project Code Eight. The new concept comes out of Wal-Mart's new tech incubator, Store No. 8. Fleiss left Rent the Runway in March, amidst the company's preparation for an IPO.





tech

Humans and computers could soon collaborate. Computers might not steal all human jobs after all, but actually counterbalance some of mere mortals' many weaknesses including functional and goal fixedness, design fixation, assumption and analogy blindness. This will allow humans to focus on the one factor that computers have not yet mastered: creativity.



Farfetch combines high-tech approach with human touch. In partnership with Italian luxury brand Gucci, online retailer Farfetch has startet a on-demand delivery service. As part of Farfetch's new high-tech approch, the company's F90 initiative promises to hand-deliver Gucci clothes and accessories within 90 minutes by way of dedicated couriers.





markets

Suppliers take aggressive measures, as more and more retailers go into bankruptcy protection and leave their bills unpaid. In US bankruptcy proceedings, secured creditors usually get paid before suppliers and vendors do. As manufacturers grow increasingly nervous, some have started to publicly attack their clients . Earlier this year, for example, a group of disgruntled shoe manufacturers in China posted signs reading "Payless Sucks" to draw attention to the fact that struggling US retailer Payless Shoe Source allegedly owed them hundreds of millions of dollars.







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