As the fashion market is evolving at a head-spinning pace, we are working tirelessly to keep you informed about the latest global developments in this ever-changing industry. Today's topics include the first Saks Off 5th store in Germany, outdoorsy Chinese tourists flocking to Antarctica and Wal-Mart's new pitch to lure online customers into its stores.


On June 8th, HBC plans to open the first German Saks Off 5th store in Dusseldorf. According to parent company Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), the inaugural German Saks Off 5th store will offer more than 500 brands on five floors with about 3500 sqm. Prominent location for the off-price retailer is the former "Carsch Haus" at Heinrich Heine Platz in the city center. In total, HBC plans about 40 Saks Off 5th branches in Germany , with Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Heidelberg and Wiesbaden as well as Rotterdam in The Netherlands scheduled to open this year, and about 200 throughout Europe. Even though HBC is highly leveraged, the company is said to be eying new takeover targets , including Dallas/Texas-based luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group as it sees itself as a "global consolidator ".


Rue 21 and Gymboree said to be next to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. High debt levels and sinking profits might soon force two additional US retailers into bankruptcy protection . Children's wear chain Gymboree and teen retailer Rue 21 are being closely watched by analysts, banks and creditors. Both retailers have to make hefty interest payments soon and are said to be suffering from low cash flow.


Activewear category soars in China... While the consumption of fashion, handbags and accessories is currently declining , the activewear segment remains strong almost everywhere in the world. One of the most promising markets is China, where activewear sales are estimated to reach $83 billion by 2020 . For comparison, the current activewear/athleisurewear market in the US is estimated to be about $44 billion. Soon, outerwear might follow suit. After all, frigid and windy Antarctica is currently one of the hottest new travel destinations for wealthy Chinese tourists who pay up to $23.300 per trip.

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...while small US retailers score with humorous anti-Trump merchandise. In the wake of the GOP's teardown of Obamacare and Donald Trump's record low approval ratings politically charged fashion is gaining momentum in the US. From t-shirts with anti-Trump messages and pro-Obama slogans to pink knit hats with cat ears, politically inspired merchandise is currently making a huge comeback. Activist Dan Savage scores with "Impeach Trump" products while brands like Lingua Franca , Joe Fresh Goods , and JC and Kate Industries delight their customers with fresh merchandise including Trump scented candles with a wild overcomb .


Cathy Beaudoin, President of Amazon Fashion, resigns. Her departure comes at a pivotal time for Amazon Fashion, which is working hard to become a major player in apparel retailing. Within the last 18 months, the Seattle-based online giant has launched a dozen own labels, invested in a futuristic on-demand apparel manufacturing system, started online styling programs and only recently launched a personalized styling service via its voice-activated Alexa. Several market insiders predict that Amazon will soon take over large US apparel retailers like Macy's and Wal-Mart. But these estimates are based on the total sales volume generated by Amazon's own product as well as that of third party retailers. Amazon's adjusted apparel sales were only about $5.5 billion in 2016, compared to Macy's Inc.'s $22.7 billion and Wal-Mart's $23.3 billion.

ANZEIGE founder Marc Lore knows how to bring online customers back into Wal-Mart's stores. Wal-Mart's top earner Marc Lore , who made $244 million last year due to Wal-Mart's takeover of, speaks about the retail giant's ambitious digital strategy (video) including the adaption to changing consumer behavior, smarter logistics, pick-up discounts, pending takeovers and the looming threat of online retailers like Amazon and Alibaba.


Legendary Brooklyn Flea is so overcrowded, it has to move. While Macy's, Sears and J. Crew fight to bring customers into their stores , legendary Brooklyn flea market Brooklyn Flea has been so overrun, that the event had to move out of its location in Williamsburg . Currently the event organizers are looking for a new venue to host the Saturday event. On Sundays, Brooklyn Flea remains in its usual location under the bridge in Dumbo.



US cooking and crafting queen Martha Stewart launches apparel line for QVC. Under a new, multi-year license, licensee Sequential Brands Group and multichannel retailer QVC will launch a new fashion apparel line under the Martha Stewart brand . As part of the collaboration, Stewart and members of her team will make multiple appearances on QVC. According to Sequential Brands, the Martha Stewart brand currently reaches about 100 million consumers per month across its various media and merchandising platforms. The daytime TV queen already has a successful apparel line for pets, Martha Stewart Pets , which is sold exclusively at Petsmart.



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