Happy Wednesday and welcome back to The Spin! Today we tell you, which online giant is about to expand further into banking, and which sports giant is about to boost its earnings per share. We also take a glimpse at Mexico’s shadow market for fashion, and introduce Zara’s new Augmented Reality app. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Jumping profits. Spanish fashion house Inditex reported a seven percent jump in its annual net profit. The parent company of brands like Zara and Massimo Dutti reported net profit of €3.37bn and revenue of € 25.34bn. For the very first time Inditex unveiled (press release) the share of its online sales which grew by 41 percent in FY2017 and stand for 10 percent of the group's net sales.

Comin' alive. To keep the pace in online sales up, Inditex brand Zara plans to roll out an Augmented Reality app for its Studio Collection in 120 of its global flagships. The "shop the look" Zara AR app allows (paywall) users to point their phones at sensors in shop windows, at shipping boxes and marked areas at participating stores, bringing virtual models dressed in items from the collection to life. These holograms can also be photographed and shared on social media.

Giving more credit. Amazon Inc is said to be working on a new co-branded credit card for small US business owners who shop on its site. Discussions are supposedly already being held with large banking organizations including JP Morgan Chase. The initiative comes on the heels of news about plans to develop checking-account-like products for young customers. For Amazon, which already offers a Prime Rewards Visa card for consumers, this is the first foray into a credit card business for small firms.


Reducing the float. By 2021, Adidas plans to buy back up to €3 billion worth of its shares, representing roughly 9 percent of its current market capitalization of about €35 billion. The Herzogenaurach-based sports giant intends to finance the buyback with cash reserves and future cash flow. Most of the repurchased shares are scheduled for cancellation, which is usually done to reduce the float and increase earnings and cash-flow per share.

Creating super heroes. When he saw his son crying about his body image, Jason Mayden knew it was time to launch a body positive, playful sports label for kids. Under Super Heroic the former Nike Jordan designer now offers two comfortable shoe styles, a tactical T-shirt and a cap, aiming to make kids feel like super heroes.


Bitter end. Many of us have heard of cases, where a product with hundreds of thousands of likes on social media still just sold a few items. But actual figures are usually hard to come by. Now, the failed café chain of British food blogger Ella Mills, daughter of supermarket heiress Camilla Sainsbury, offers a glimpse into the challenges of translating online achievement into real world success. Two of her three Deliciously Ella cafés have just been closed.


New struggles. German fashion brand Liebeskind Berlin has appointed (paywall; in German) Birgit Adels CEO. Currently partner at the consulting firm Heidrick & Struggles, she'll take over from Armin Fichtel on May 1. Fichtel held the position on an interim basis after Brigitte Danielmeyer left in February. Adels' focus at the struggling brand, which is in hot water for allegedly appropriating (in German) the Mexican artist José Dávila, will be product and marketing.


Over the borderline. Americans donate an estimated 4.7 billion pounds of clothing each year. Much of it is sold around the world, making the US the world's largest exporter of used clothing. Mexican clothing traders are among the best customers, often selling those items at markets all over the country. Mexico's private sector disapproves of this shadow fashion economy, but even if NAFTA is re-negotiated, many involved in the cross-border trade doubt that it will ever completely cease.


Royal scandal. Prince Harry's bride-to-be, Meghan Markle, caused a media uproar, when she wore a dark blue J. Crew coat without removing the white tailor's tack from its back vent. The "X" stitching is designed to keep a garment in shape while it is being shipped and displayed, but should be removed before its worn. Markle's fans did obviously not mind: The style is already sold out at most retailers.


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