Feb
 08
 2018



Ulrike

Hello,

Welcome back to The Spin! Google has just acquired the block-long former Nabisco factory building in Manhattan, while HBC formally rejected Signa’s $3.5 billion offer for its German Galeria Kaufhof department stores. In additional takeover news, ousted Perry Ellis founder George Feldenkreis just made an offer to buy the entire company. We also check out the effect of increasingly popular personal DNA tests on America’s age-long race conversation. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike



retail

Quarter bin. Hudson's Bay Company, which just rejected (press release) a $3.5 billion offer for its German department store chain Galeria Kaufhof from competitor Signa, will (paywall; in German) cut 400 of its 1,600 jobs at Kaufhof's headquarters in Cologne. In addition to natural fluctuation, HBC plans to offer payouts to volunteers and interim solutions for people close to retirement. According to the Verdi trade union, Kaufhof already eliminated (in German) 1,280 positions at its stores last year.


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people

Transformer. Helena Foulkes, who is assuming the CEO position at HBC on February 19, told (paywall; in German) leading German industry magazine TextilWirtschaft that she still has to learn a lot about Galeria Kaufhof and plans to visit Germany soon. Foulkes considers her strengths to lie in the transformation of businesses, including the expansion into digital and the development of loyalty programs. At HBC, she plans to creatively work on strategies to keep department stores relevant.


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tech

Alphabet alley. In one of New York City's largest real estate deals, Google-parent Alphabet is buying the Chelsea Market building from US real estate investor Jamestown for about $2.4 billion. Google already occupies (video) a third of the 1.2 million sqft mixed use complex, which sits across from its NY headquarters and houses food and fashion retailers including Anthropology and The Lobster Place on its lower levels.


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brands

Broken trust. The founder of Perry Ellis International, who was ousted in September 2017, wants to buy the entire company. In a letter to the Doral-based firm George Feldenkreis offers $27.50 per share which translates into $430 million. Frustrated (paywall) with the current board's strategy and motivations, the 82-year-old aims to take Perry Ellis private.


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retail

Element of discovery. US department store chain Macy's Inc has launched a new pop-up concept at ten of its stores. Dubbed "The market@Macy's" and located on the ground floor, these pop-ups will feature fresh young brands and interesting product that has not been available in the region. Participating companies are charged a one-time fee, while Macy's provides personell and visibility. If successful, the program might be expanded.





markets

Dressing's down. US household spending for apparel dropped from 6.2 percent in 1977 to exactly half of that in 2017. During the same period, spending for technology has increased to 3.4 percent of household expenditures. These days, most consumers don't have to buy a separate work wardrobe and instead of neckties, employees wear sneakers to work. As part of this shift, even the number of dry cleaners collapsed.



Offer to upgrade. As retailers keep closing stores, US shopping malls keep losing large anchors like Macy's, Sears and Target as well as in-line tenants like Claire's, Kenneth Cole and Men's Warehouse. Faced with empty store fronts, top-tier A malls have begun to aggressively lure away attractive tenants like Nordstrom from lower-end B and C malls in their markets.





last

Borne identity. Due to affordable DNA testing, many white Americans including singer Carly Simon are finding out that they are part African. According to an old Southern rule, a single drop of "black blood" makes a person African. Now, even the tiniest drop can be measured. While some embrace the news, others hang on to (video satire) their old self-image. Either way, the realization might shift the cultural paradigm and reboot the race conversation. It also allows for more personalized skin care, exercise regimen and diet.







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