Oct
 17
 2017



Ulrike

Hello,

Happy Tuesday and welcome back to The Spin! Today we tell you why Nordstrom is shelving its plan for privatization, and which small adjustments helped Walmart save millions. We also highlight the massive changes sweeping through the film and fashion industries in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal - and what Hugh Hefner’s role was in shaping today’s standards. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike



retail

Shelving the plan. Due to difficulty in obtaining debt financing, the Nordstrom family has shelved its plan to take the Seattle-based company private. According to a SEC filing, active sale talks are going to be suspended until after the holidays. The news sent the company's stock down more than 5 percent on Monday afternoon.


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Moving on up. Irish department store chain Dunnes Stores, which has transformed itself from a high-volume/low-price department store to an upscale fashion retailer under CEO Margaret Heffernan, plans to convert one of its Home Stores in Dublin into two restaurants. Meanwhile, Margaret Heffernan has handed over the reins of the family business to daughter Anne Heffernan and niece Sharon McMahon, who have been named directors of all Dunnes Stores companies.



Simpler, shorter, faster. A simple changes to its plastic bags allowed US retail giant Walmart Stores Inc to save approximately $20 million. The decision to shorten the length of the company’s receipts added another $7 million in savings. The Bentonville-based company also receives much buzz for its new Mobile Express Return app. It allows customers to return items at an express lane in Walmart stores by simply scanning a QR code.





brands

Pressing charges. German financial regulator BaFin is pressing (paywall) charges due to alleged insider trading at Hugo Boss AG. Following a sales and profit warning in late February 2016, the Metzingen-based company's stock fell almost 20 percent. According to German press reports, a member of the Marzotto family which has been a major stakeholder since 1991 informed (in German) a relative, who sold stock before the drop.





tech

Combating counterfeits. Ebay is playing catch-up with online giants like Amazon, Etsy and TheRealReal. With 171 million users and over 1 billion items listed at any given time, the auction and shopping platform is still grasping for relevancy. Marred by the image of second-hand stuff and lacking major investments, it needs to elevate and differentiate itself. One step is the introduction of an authentication program for high-end goods. Designed to combat counterfeits, it currently focuses on luxury leathergoods.





markets

Noon vs. Souq. The Saudi Arabian online market, which is estimated to grow from $8.7 billion to $13.4 billion by 2021, has been largely untapped. The only local company has been Dubai-based Souq.com which was founded in 2005 and sold to Amazon in March 2017. With the long anticipated launch of Noon.com in the United Arab Emirates on October 1st, a second player has entered the game. Noon.com plans to enter Saudi Arabia within the next few weeks, and Souq.com which has been known as "Amazon of the Middle East" is looking to branch into new markets as well.



Primping Paris. French billionaires Bernard Arnault and François Pinault have taken their rivalry from the runway to the City of Light. Opening or renovating flagship stores, hotels, theme parks and museums, they are reshaping Paris into a capital of luxury shopping and contemporary art. As Arnault converts part of the Samaritaine department store into a Cheval Blanc hotel and Pinault transforms the former commodities exchange to house his art collection, they are converting Paris into a monument to Kering and LVMH.





last

Sex on the job. The passing of Playboy's Hugh Hefner inspired mixed eulogies. While some applauded his guts to dismantle sexual shame, others claim he's promoted the objectification of women. The theme has just come up again with the rape allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Power, it seems, has long given carte blanche to sexual predators. In the past, Dov Charney of American Apparel was sued several times for sexual misconduct, as were photographer Terry Richardson and actor Bill Cosby. But a new sense of rectitude and the speed of social media might soon put (paywall) an end to it.







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