Oct
 05
 2017



Ulrike

Hello,

Happy Thursday and welcome back! This issue of The Spin might actually go down as the Amazon special. Today, we highlight the online giant’s recent purchase of a 3D body scanning startup, its current interest in French brick-and-mortar retail, its ongoing tax problems in the EU, and which brands are on its best seller list. We also tell you which luxury brand has just started to endorse third-party consignment of its merchandise. Enjoy the read - and your day! Best, Ulrike



tech

Making it fit. Online giant Amazon has bought the 3D body scanning company Body Labs for an estimated $50 million to $100 million. The startup claims to build true-to-life 3D body models. Being able to offer custom fit could give Amazon's private label fashion brands an edge and help reduce the number of returns from apparel that don't fit. In addition, the technology might also be useful for innovative endeavors in Virtual Reality and Artificial Reality, including gaming.


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retail

Too basic. Although Amazon has high fashion ambitions, the company's highest volume apparel is in basic commodity-type product lead by Hanes underwear in both women's and men's. Basic jeans and sports wear labels like Levi’s, Under Armour and Champion are other strong names in menswear, while top brands in womenswear include Made by Johnny, 90 Degree by Reflex and Playtex. With its own AmazonBasics private label, the company managed to grow 90 percent last year.



French ambition. Amazon is looking to buy a retailer in France, preferably one with a strong presence in Paris. According to French newspaper Le Monde, the online giant has approached (in French) distributors for possible partnerships and acquisition targets, and French retailer Leclerc just confirmed it has been approached by Amazon for a logistics partnership.





markets

Taxing the titans. The EU's decision (press release) to make Amazon pay almost $300 million in back taxes to Luxembourg has vast implications on how taxes are going to be collected in the future. While the EU considers higher tax rates for tech companies, its competition commissioner Margarethe Vestager is taking Ireland to court over its failure to collect back taxes from Apple. This follows a June decision to fine Google €2.4 billion for unfair comparison shopping. In total, about two dozen large companies including banks and automakers have been sued or fined for antitrust and tax issues.





people

Leaving the Doctor. After three years at the helm of Dr. Martens' CEO Steve Murray has resigned from the British footwear company, possibly in anticipation of an eventual sale. According to the Permira Funds-owned shoemaker, Murray has put people and structures in place thus laying the groundwork for a new phase of accelerated growth. During the search for a successor, non-executive Chairman Paul Mason takes on the position on an interim basis.





brands

Condoning consignment. Reversing decades of distrust between luxury labels and consignment companies, Kering-owned label Stella McCartney has started a collaboration with US-based online reseller The Real Real. Starting in 2018, the sustainably oriented luxury brand will accept items for resale at its retail locations and forward them to The Real Real. In turn, the consignment company will install a Stella McCartney shop-in-shop for pre-owned Stella McCartney items at its brick-and-mortar store in Manhattan. Currently, there are over 7,000 Stella McCartney styles on offer at The Real Real.



Fresh focus. Following the strategic divestiture of its golf equipment division to KPS Capital Partners, German sports giant Adidas is going to focus on its core apparel and footwear segments. The sale of TaylorMade, Adams Golf and Ashworth brands has been finalized (in German) on October 2nd. In July, Adidas sold its CCM ice hockey business to Birch Hill Equity Partners.



Au revoir, Paris! Finalizing Paris Fashion Week, Louis Vuitton brought this season's international runway shows (image gallery) to a glorious close. Notable trends from the Paris shows are frills, sharp tailoring, bike shorts and vinyl outfits. And then there was the somewhat spooky trend of using twins on the runway, bringing #twinning to the runway.





last

Casting a CEO. Diesel Founder Renzo Rosso just published a video on the company's Facebook page to announce a casting for a new CEO. One important skill the future leader needs to have (according to Rosso): Be good at sitting.







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