Welcome back to The Spin. Today Christopher Blomquist brings you the latest fashion industry news, which includes a positive forecast for luxury brands (some of whom are increasing their digital footprint in China with good results), not so great tidings for older malls in the UAE and executive changes at Amazon and Neiman Marcus. Enjoy the read!


Luxury to rebound. A new report released by Bain & Company in partnership with Italian luxury lobby Altagamma on Monday predicts that global sales in the personal luxury sector will grow later this year to between €254 billion and €259 billion, a 2 to 4 percent increase from €249 billion in 2016. Thanks to a rise in tourism in the former and lower prices in the latter, the key growth markets will be Europe and China but sales are predicted to drop by up to 2 percent in the Americas where the combined problems of slumping department store sales and less tourism in the wake of Trump's election are expected to cause a downturn.


Bangladesh factories go green. Green factories are on the rise in Bangladesh, where 67 facilities have received LEED certification in the last six years, with more than 200 more registered and awaiting the certification. In the wake of deadly factory disasters there in recent years, the national government is offering loans at 9 percent interest to companies, especially apparel makers, to build eco-friendly plants. It is also being lobbied to provide additional incentives to the ready-made-garment industry there.


Japanese retail rises. Although overall household spending and income was down in Japan again in April, the fall did not affect (paywall) retail sales there, especially in department stores and supermarkets, which grew 3.2 percent on year and 1.1 percent compared to March. It was the fastest growth in retail sales in Japan in two years and evidence of growing consumer confidence there.

Challenges for Dubai malls. With 900,000 sq. meters of retail space being added in the coming years, experts are warning that older malls in that UAE city will face increasing competition and possible mass exodus from longtime tenants unless they renegotiate their rents. This comes on top of increasing competition from online retailers.


China's WeChat woos luxury. Tencent Holdings, which operates the most popular messaging app in China, WeChat, is now attracting luxury brands (paywall) to sell their wares on it. Burberry, which recently reported strong sales in China , and Longchamp have already started selling bags and clothes on the app and Givenchy and Dior are doing test flash sales on it. This marks a move away from Alibaba, China's biggest e-commerce company, whose sales of US$547 billion in fiscal 2017 were bigger than eBay and Amazon combined.


Amazon Fashion's new prez. E-tailer giant Amazon has named Christine Beauchamp, a former executive at Ralph Lauren and Victoria's Secret, as the new president of Amazon Fashion. She will assume the job next month (paywall). The company has been steadily and successfully expanding its fashion arm but still lacks fashion credibility among some brands - as Mango’s recent exit (in German) from the platform shows.

CFO exiting Neiman Marcus. Michael Fung, who has served as interim CFO and COO at American retailer Neiman Marcus Group since November 2016, will exit the company at the end of next month. While the store continues to search for a permanent CFO, Dale Stapleton, a SVP and chief accounting officer who has been with Neiman's for more than 16 years, will take on the position on June 30.

Biagiotti mourned. The funeral (paywall) of Laura Biagiotti, the Italian designer dubbed the "Queen of Cashmere" drew industry insiders and celebrities in Rome on Saturday. She died last week at age 73 after suffering cardiac arrest.


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