Jul
 10
 2018



Ulrike

Hello,

Welcome back to The Spin! Much has been written about the effect of leveraged buyouts and the associated transfer of debt to retail companies. Now US Congress is looking into the matter. We also tell you, which large European mail-order company is shutting down its catalogue - and how a dose of testosterone affects men's response to status symbols. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike



retail

Debt threats. As the demise of Toys 'R' Us sheds new light on the financial plight of retail companies that have been bought through leveraged buyouts, US Congress is now demanding answers. Private equity funds often transfer the acquisition related debt to the target's books, then pay themselves interest, fees and dividends, even when their newly acquired merchants are not breaking even.


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Customers killed catalogue. Following this holiday season, German mail-order giant Otto plans to shut down (paywall; in German) its legendary catalogue, which has been a staple in German households since 1949. Customers have increasingly moved to Otto’s digital offers. Currently the company counts about 6.6 million active users. Its next goal (press release) is to morph into an online platform.



Return to sender. Expanding on the growing re-sale trend, tech startup Rohvi offers retailers a buyback platform to turn past transactions into new purchases. Via email, the site encourages shoppers to return worn items for store credit, potentially bringing them back to the place of purchase for new items. Items can be “exchanged” for up to two years, usually for a fixed dollar amount.





people

Bye bye, Bottega. The musical chairs at Bottega Veneta continue with the departure (in Italian) of chief marketing officer, Lisa Pomerantz. Effective July 13, the manager is going to leave the company to pursue new opportunities. Pomerantz, who’d already worked (paywall) for the Italian luxury label between 2001 and 2010, re-joined the Italian brand in January 2017 following six years at Michael Kors.





markets

Made for walking. As growth in the footwear sector continues, a slew of new shoe startups were able to secure about $170 million in venture capital over the past 18 months. Among the recipients are high-end designers as well as marketplaces for used sneakers and brands that experiment with used materials like plastics and wool, with most lines sharing a focus on comfort.



Open sesame! The British Fashion Council has partnered with the Arts Council England, the Home Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to expand and promote the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa for applicants from the fashion industry. Working as an independent assessor for the visa, the British Fashion Council aims to create a new route for talented fashion professionals who desire to work in the UK.





brands

Chunky chic. As chunky footwear continues its ascent, I-D has compiled a list of the ugliest shoe hybrids. The selection ranges from the 2001 Adidas Kobe Two Audi collaboration to the chaps-style suspender boots, Giuseppe Zanotti created for Rihanna in 2016. Also included are Hood by Air x Frye’s two-directional boots and Christopher Kane’s kitchen-approved combination of pointed high heel with yellow dish washing sponges…





last

Blame it on the hormone. The administration of testosterone does not only increase men’s sexual function and mood, but also their preference for higher-status brands. When compared to labels of perceived similar quality but lower status, men who were given the hormone had an increased positive attitude towards goods that were described as status-enhancing, but not towards goods that were described as power enhancing or high in quality.







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