Happy Monday and welcome back to The Spin. Today we will focus on retail sales that could be lost in the aftermath of new American import tariffs; also, sales that evaporate at Claire's and other New Look stores just because it's so much easier to buy online. Both Farfetch and Rent the Runway are examples of a new enthusiasm for luxury e-commerce. Enjoy the read and have a terrific week! Caroline.


Lost trade. President Trump's new tariffs on imported (paywall) steel and aluminum worry the retail industry. New tariffs on steel don't directly affect retail, recognizes Matthew Shay, the president of the powerful NRF (National Retail Federation), but they have an impact on the renegotiation of NAFTA and additional tariffs on consumer goods from China are feared . European negotiators already said they will retaliate with their own tariffs on American denim and T shirts.

Lost paradise. Claire's store, the accessories retailer is getting ready to declare bankruptcy in the coming weeks. The company, saddled by $2 billion in debt, should cede control to its lenders (Elliott Capital Management, Monarch Alternative Capital...). The chapter 11 procedure will ease the debt load and give some time to Claire's management to figure out its future. Claire's and its 2700 stores globally used to be a tween paradise at the mall until Amazon changed all that.

Lost touch. British retailer New Look is also dealing with a loss of traffic in its stores: sales in stores that have been open for at least one year have fallen 10.6% over the last quarter. Shoppers fell out of love with the once beloved New Look. Alistair McGeorge, the turn around expert, is offering creditors a Company Voluntary Agreement. He will close 60 stores, slash rents in 393 boutiques and eliminate 1000 jobs. Nevertheless, observers wonder if the plan is tough enough.


Invest in the stock exchange. The luxury ecommerce platform Farfetch is ready to launch (paywall) its IPO in the US this year. Farfetch has already hired JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs to manage the operation. The British unicorn goes to New York after striking a distribution deal with Burberry and cooperating with Chanel on digital initiatives. Wall Street should embrace the promising Farfetch. According to Bain and Co, online luxury sales jumped 24% in 2017.

Invest in the runway. Alibaba's Jack Ma and Joe Tsai are interested in Rent the Runway. Through their investment firm they provided $20 million to the New York City startup. Rent the Runway first offered outfits for those special occasions at a fraction of the purchasing price, but lately the company added a subscription model to its business. Customers can now rent a rotating closet. Jennifer Hyman, CEO of the company intends to develop the concept in Asia with the help of her new investors.

Invest in AI. Google is teaming up (paywall) with British designer Paul Smith on an AI (Artificial Intelligence) project. The Google app, Art Palette allows the creator to select the colors that are essential for him this season and upload pictures that he finds interesting. The app then organizes a database of artwork using these colors to create a mood board of inspirations for the designer. AI, as perceived in the recent Brainstorm Design Conference in Singapore, doesn't replace the designer but gives him tools to be more creative.

Invest in VR. Luxurious Barney's New York partnered with Samsung Electronics and Martha Graham Dance company to create a digitized dance performance. Martha Graham dancers are wearing outfits from Barney's collection: Prabal Gurung, Rick Owens, The Row, Loewe... Customers can see them in store via Samsung's Virtual Reality service in New York or Beverly Hills. They may also visit


Advantage soccer. Fed up with the pretty carre Hermes? Try the colorful soccer scarf. It's another international trend that emerged from the fashion weeks circus and no doubt, the coming world cup in Russia is no stranger to sudden infatuation. House of Holland has a red and pink Susie Fucking Lau version. Vetements promises a Yellow hooligan free hugs scarf, Versace has 3 styles in bold primary colors. The trend is growing: on, football scarf searches increased by 13% in February.


is a product
delivered to you by | Imprint