Today, we are taking a closer look at HBC's call to action, Lululemon's fresh interest in cycling and the online relaunch of Bebe Stores. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Have a wonderful day, Ulrike


Expanding universe. In addition to a new distribution channel, Walmart’s takeover of men's online retailer Bonobos also brings in consumers and values from a different retail planet. So far, less than 1% of Walmart’s customer base shop at Bonobos, while about 11% of Bonobos' customers buy at Walmart. According to experts, the differences between Walmart’s many new eCommerce sites including Jet.com and Modcloth require distinct separation.

Diamond in the rough. Hudson's Bay Company's shareholders seem to agree with Land & Building Investment Management. After the activist investor urged HBC to sell its real estate and explore privatization, the Toronto-based retailer’s shares briefly jumped 18%. In a letter to HBC’s board, L&BIM compares the owner of Hudson’s Bay, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and German Galeria Kaufhof a "diamond in the rough", ready to unlock its value. HBC will review the letter and respond in due course.

Signa's shopping spree. Austrian Signa Retail Group has bought (in German) a 60% interest in Mybestbrands , one of the largest European online fashion malls for premium and luxury brands like Gucci, Burberry and Balenciaga. To expand its leadership in the European online market, Signa Retail has acquired shares in seven online retailers including Outfitter , Internetstores , Tennis-Point , Dress-for-less and Hood.de over the past 14 months.

Lulu on the bike. Canadian yoga wear retailer Lululemon has bought a minority stake in Canadian startup 7mesh Inc which is specialized in innovative bicycle wear. Supported by Lululemon’s research and development unit Whitespace the two companies are planning to launch an initial line of bicycling outfits by mid-2018.


Reversal of freedom. To prevent the popular practice of show rooming, Amazon has patented a tool to block online shopping inside physical stores. It allows retailers’ Wifi networks to intercept search queries for price comparisons and disable the request. Remember when Amazon launched its free Price Check iPhone app in 2010 to encourage online shopping in actual stores? That app seems to be discontinued and is "not currently available".


Muslim blues. In 2013, the global Muslim consumer spending on apparel and footwear had increased to $266 billion, which represents an increase of 11.9% over three years. Following the nuclear accord experts predicted this market to reach $488 billion by 2019, making the country an enticing new prospect for luxury brands. Now, political and economic uncertainty have curbed the enthusiasm (paywall) and declining sales, cancelled orders and a flood of counterfeits dampen the mood.


Mourning Carla Fendi. After a long illness, the Honorary President of the Fendi Company, Carla Fendi, passed away (in Italian) at age 80. Mainly in charge of marketing, she had been with the company since the 1950s. With her four sisters Anna, Paola, Franca and Aida she contributed to the expansion of the brand, also championing its entry into the US.

From dresses to distressed. British designer Nathan Jenden , formerly Creative Director at "wrap dress queen" Diane von Furstenberg, has been named Creative Director of the Bebe division at Global Brands. The Hong Kong-based company has been scooping up distressed US retailers including BCBG and Bebe Stores. It's plans for Bebe include a relaunch of its webpage and international stores, while BCBG is supposed to reopen with significantly fewer stores and a much lower overhead.


Miuccia likes it rough. Art Nouveau, new Liberty and elements of fantasy are some of the inspirations for the dreamy designs artist James Jean developed for Prada’s latest Menswear prints. Miuccia Prada prefers the energy of Jean’s rough sketches over the polished images that are characteristic for his work. So, for this collaboration, his typical patterns of swirly flowers and geometric designs evolved into a lighter, more transparent visual concept.


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