Jun
 29
 2017



Ulrike

Hello,

Today we are taking a closer look at Forever21’s pre-emptive strike against Gucci, Naomi Campbell’s collaboration with a German fashion label and how Walmart - and the Mormon church - are getting increasingly flexible. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Cheers, Ulrike



brands

Preemptive strike. In a response to a cease and desist letter, Forever21 is suing Gucci. The Italian designer label has asked the fast fashion chain to stop selling items with decorative stripes that resemble its trademarked ones. Forever21 plans to to legally establish that its styles could not be confused with Gucci's. The retailer also sues for the cancellation of several of Gucci's trademark registrations. Gucci sees the the lawsuit (paywall) as an attempt to deflect attention from Forever21's own wrongdoings.



Uggly move. Marcato Capital's activist investor Mick McGuire who has been pushing Ugg's parent company Deckers to sell itself now threatens a proxy battle to overhaul the board. Deckers has started a strategic review in April, but McGuire complains about a history of underperformance and a lack of transparancy.





people

Daring the Tailor. Naomi Campbell signed a deal with Tom Tailor. Over the next twelve months the British super model plans to develop three "Naomi Campbell" capsule collections for the German fashion company. The first design will be available online and in selected Tom Tailor stores by the end of July. According to Campbell, the styles (image gallery) are a bit more daring, but prices match Tom Tailor's regular offer.





retail

Bigger bite. Just days after JD.com announced plans to enter the Thai market, Chinese online giant Alibaba Group raised its majority stake in Southeast Asian Commerce platform Lazada to about 83%. According to Alibaba, the $1 billion transaction increases its total investment to more than $2 billion and values Lazarda at about $3.15 billion.



No bite. On the other hand, Alibaba has denied any interest in luxury online retailer Yoox Net-A-Porter (YNAP). Industry insiders speculated that Alibaba might follow JD.com into the luxury market and sent YNAP’s stock soaring. Last week, JD.com invested $397 million in British luxury eTailer Farfetch.



Second thoughts. A former Amazon employee advises Nike to rethink its planned partnership with the online giant. An estimated 35 million Prime customers have also had second thoughts and have since cancelled their memberships.





markets

Justify my store. As consumers increasingly utilize social media for product discovery and other functions that were once exclusive to physical stores , retailers have started to re-evaluate their costly flagship stores. The latest casualties are the New York temples of JC Penney (paywall) and Ralph Lauren’s Polo brand. Experts argue that flagships should be used for new and immersive brand experiences.





last

Culture clash. The integration of Jet.com is forcing (paywall) Walmart to bend some rules. After the acquisition, Walmart began to implement its own conservative culture and quickly did away with the startup’s weekly office happy hour. Unsurprisingly, that did not go over too well with Jet.com’s employees and in an unusual move, the custom was recently reinstated…



Prayer pants. The Mormon church is softening its attitude as well. With its modernization, the dress code has been relaxed to allow women who work for the church the option of pantsuits or dress slacks. Even though Mormon women have not been forbidden to wear pants to church, some who did received death threats in 2012.







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