May
 15
 2018



Ulrike

Hello,

Welcome back to The Spin! The week is off to a fast start with news about new data breaches at Facebook, a voluntary bankruptcy filing, and a new president for HBC's Lord & Taylor department store chain. And while news about store closures continue to emerge, there are also many unexpected openings. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike



people

Change agent. HBC has hired Vanessa LeFebvre to head its US-based Lord & Taylor department store chain, effective May 22. LeFebvre, who's already worked for Lord & Taylor between 1999 and 2009, is currently VP and General Merchandise Manager at the online subscription retailer StitchFix. She'll take over from Liz Rodbell, who stepped down in April, and will report to HBC's new CEO, Helena Foulkes.





brands

Costly divorce. US footwear company Rockport filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing a costly separation from its former owner, the Adidas-owned Reebok company. The move is designed to facilitate (press release) Rockport's planned asset sale to Charlesbank, which should enable the company to focus on Asia and Europe. Charlesbank also looks at the purchase of some of Rockport's North American retail business, while Rockport is seeking court authorization to close all stores that are not being sold.



Going West. Dutch online menswear brand Suitsupply, which recently received (paywall; in German) the prestigious TW Forum award by leading European fashion trade magazine TextilWirtschaft, is expanding in the US. In addition to moving its entire marketing team from Amsterdam to New York City, the label also opened a fourth NY store in the hip Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn.





tech

Indecent exposure. Facebook, which rigorously bans images of uncovered nipples, has proven much less concerned about the personal information of its users. As it turns out, data of millions of users has been left exposed on poorly protected websites. As part of an investigation following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, around 200 apps have now been suspended, among the myPersonality quiz developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge for academic research, who failed to properly secure their findings.



Rap, Interrupted! Rapper Kendrick Lamar has partnered with Nike to sell his new Cortez Kenny III sneakers via Pokemon-style AR events during selected concerts. At random moments during his performances, users of Nike's SNKRS app are notified of the style's Stash Spot activation. The system actually failed during the first night, May 10, when concert goers were alerted well before the activation went live. The campaign continues until June 15.





retail

Closing time. In recent weeks, several US news outlets have published (paywall) lists of US stores that are scheduled to close this year. The current total is about 3,000 and includes fashion chains Abercrombie & Fitch, A'gaci, American Eagle, Ascena, Foot Locker, J Crew, Stage Stores and Steven Alan; brands like Charlotte Olympia, Coach, Kate Spade and Michael Kors; and department stores The Bon-Ton Stores, JC Penney, Kmart, Macy's, Nordstrom, Sam's Club, Sears and Target.



Coming to town. On the other hand, low- and off-price specialists like Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and TJX Companies as well as Walmart Stores, Costco and Five Below plan to open a total of about 2,000 stores this year. Even Old Navy is going against the trend with a slew of planned openings.





last

Sweet revenge. With Google research, Youtube lessons and an internship at a high end shoe company, London-based designer Jehu-Cal Emmanuel Enemokwu is turning the name he was bullied for in high-school into a cool fashion brand. The Jehu-Cal collection offers streetwear staples including T-shirts, hoodies, track suits and utility jackets in bold colors, adorned with slogans like "Jehu-Cal till Forever" and "We Made it This Far, Kid".







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