Jun
 22
 2018



Christopher

Hello,

Welcome to this Friday edition of The Spin. Today there is quite a bit of fashion-related political news from the United States, a first-ever disclosure from Chanel and new developments on the retail tech front. Enjoy the read and have a wonderful weekend! Best, Christopher



markets

It's war. The European Union officially struck back against President Trump's newly launched tariffs on aluminum and steel by implementing reciprocal duties on €2.8 billion worth of US goods that take effect starting today. Europeans will now pay 50% more for US-made items including some clothing, men's leather footwear and certain cosmetics. European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said that the US decision to impose tariffs "goes against all logic and history."


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Taxing issue. The US Supreme Court overturned a 1992 decision yesterday that allowed US online retailers to bypass the collection of sales tax in states where they do not have a physical presence. While the ruling may hurt numerous e-commerce sites and caused their shares to drop yesterday, it won't have much of an effect on the largest, Amazon, as it already collects sales tax in all 50 states.



Melania's message. First Lady Melania Trump sparked outrage and all kinds of speculation when she wore a very uncharacteristic $39 military-style jacket from Zara emblazoned with the words I REALLY DON'T CARE DO U? on the back while on her way to visit children held at a detainment camp of illegal immigrants in Texas yesterday. Her husband later tweeted that the message was for the "Fake News Media" while others suspected it was in support of his "zero tolerance" policy against illegal immigrants or possibly even a dig at him. Her spokesperson insisted "there was no hidden message" however.





brands

Chanel's big reveal. In a move to fend off takeover rumors Chanel revealed (paywall) its annual results for the first time in its 108 years in business and they would make Coco proud. It had annual sales of $9.62 billion in 2017, an 11 percent increase from the year before. This makes the privately held company owned by brothers Alain and Gérard Wertheimer one of the largest luxury brands in the world. It also said it was forming a new London-based holding company, Chanel Limited, to consolidate all its businesses under one roof.



Dispirited Esprit. Beleaguered brand Esprit issued a profit warning yesterday saying it expects a loss of HK$2.17 billion to HK$2.27 billion (approximately US$276.59 million to US$289.35 million) for the full year ending on June 30. It lost HK$102 million in the same period last year and new CEO Anders Kristiansen who been in the role for less than a month called the results (paywall) "extremely disappointing."





retail

M&S & Microsoft. British retailer Marks & Spencer is partnering with Microsoft to see how the latter's artificial intelligence technology can be used to improve customer service and boost in-store sales. M&S head Steve Rowe says the collaboration, announced yesterday, will make the store a "digital first" retailer but did not reveal exactly when and how the technology will be implemented.





tech

Microsoft 2.0? Shares in the British software development and online supermarket company Ocado are up dramatically after analysts said it had the potential to become "the Microsoft of retail." While Ocado is currently based only in food, it is aiming to make its logistics software an industry standard across all retail sectors that will be as widely used as Microsoft's Windows. And in other retail tech news, US-based Bossa Nova Robotics, which recently started testing robots in Walmart, has just secured a new investment of $29 million.





people

Virgil for LV. Designer Virgil Abloh made what many say was a triumphant debut as the new menswear designer for Louis Vuitton at Paris Fashion Week yesterday. The 56-piece collection was called Color Theory and was cheered by front row A-listers such as Rihanna and Kanye West.







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