Oct
 23
 2017



Caroline

Hello,

Good Monday and welcome back to The Spin! Today we'll tell you about the latest management shuffle at Hudson's Bay Company and the return of the boomerang CEO at New Look. The retail environment remains challenging, but some companies find ways to evolve. Following its IPO, French fashion holding SMCP plans to expand in China, while Britain's luxury retailer Browns reinvents the brick-and-mortar experience, and Adidas plants its shoes in the express lane. Enjoy the read! Best, Caroline



people

Stepping off. Amidst disagreements about the strategic direction of Canadian Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), CEO Gerald Storch is leaving the company on November 1st to return to his advisory firm, Storch Advisors. Until a successor is found, HBC's Governor and Executive Chairman Richard Baker will assume the position. Baker will also supervise HBC's restructuring, aiming to save $350 million by the end of fiscal 2018.


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Top contenders. Hudson's Bay Company, which owns Saks Fifth Avenue, Hudson's Bay, Lord and Taylor, Gilt and Galeria Kaufhof is facing (paywall) challenging times. Its most recent quarter ended with a net loss of CAD201 million. According to experts, the company now needs a solid merchant at its top. Top candidates currently being discussed are Jim Gold, President and Chief Merchandising Officer at Neiman Marcus; Tony Spring, CEO at Bloomingdale's; and Brendan Hoffman, CEO at Vince and former President of HBC's Lord & Taylor department store chain.



Boomeranging back. Following the departure of CEO Anders Kristiansen at the end of August, British fashion chain New Look has called back (paywall) its former boss, Alistair McGeorge. The ailing retailer announced a 32 percent slump in adjusted EBITDA for its last quarter and a 7.5 percent fall in like-for-like sales in England. Alistair Mc George is a turn-around expert who was credited with putting New Look on the right path back in 2013.





markets

Disappointing IPO. French fashion holding SMCP will use (paywall) the €500 million it just raised on the Euronext to pay off debt and expand in China, Europe and North America. SMCP, the owner of affordable luxury brands Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot is still controlled by the Chinese Shandong Ruyi Group which retains a 51% stake in the company. On the first day of trading, the stock fell more than 4.5 percent to 21 Euros.



Cash strapped. Sears, still bleeding cash, borrowed another $40 million from its chairman and CEO Edward Lampert. Two weeks ago, the owner of hedge fund ESL Investments already loaned the ailing American retailer $100 million. Lampert plans to transform Sears into a membership-based company with fewer stores. So far, however, he failed to convince credit rating agencies, which are anxious about a possible default on outstanding bonds. Since 2011, Sears has lost about $11 billion.





tech

Quick step. On October 19th, Adidas launched (image gallery) its first six-piece collection of running shoes manufactured in its new German Speedfactory. Showcased in London and inspired by the British capital, the collection was designed, produced and delivered within 45 days instead of the usual 18 months. Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Shanghai will also get their own, fashion inpired sneaker capsules. This fall, Adidas will open a second Speedfactory in Atlanta, Georgia.



Sharing the bill. Paypal has launched a new collaboration with its peer-to-peer payment service Venmo. Venmo allows users to split restaurant bills among each other. The new service, Pay with Venmo, allows users to split retail purchases as well. The service is already available in two million retail stores including Lululemon, Forever 21 and Foot Locker, allowing them to better compete with and differentiate from online giant Amazon.





retail

Buy - or meditate. British cult fashion store Browns has opened a new showcase in East London. The company owned by e-tailer FarFetch promises to reinvent the brick and mortar experience. The entrance converts into a temporary space dedicated to independent creatives, and inside the store there is a "nomad" project with semi-permanent retail concepts. The store also features an Immersive Experience Room where shoppers are invited to meditate.



Christmas surprise. This season the Ikea holiday catalog skips its traditional red and green features. Instead, the catalog plays on clean neutral whites and gray hues, with los of sparkles added by shiny chandeliers and LED embellishments. For customers who seek more, there will always be the over-the-top Neiman Marcus extravaganza. Its 91st edition features a New Year's Eve rooftop party in New York for $1.6 million, his and her limited-edition Rolls Royce models for about $450.000 each, and an $8000 set of eight dolls which includes - of course - an elaborate doll house.







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