Today, we take a closer look at the part of private equity firms in the current retail crisis, Nike's flirt with Amazon and yet another Gucci controversy. Enjoy the read and feel free to share. Have a great day, Ulrike


Titans team up. Sports giant Nike considers a wholesale partnership with online colossus Amazon. So far, Nike products have only been available on Amazon through third-party sellers. This unexpected move could add $300 million to $500 million to Nike’s annual revenue. It could also wipe out massive chunks of business at sports chains and department stores. Stocks of sports retailers like Dicks Sporting Goods and Foot Locker already tanked.

Gucci accused of stealing - again. Just a few weeks after the Italian fashion brand was scolded for copying a style by Harlem-based creative Dapper Dan, two artists from New Zealand and Australia claim that Gucci has used their motifs in its Cruise 2018 collection. New Zealand-born artist Stuart Smythe claims that Gucci copied his snake logo, while Australian Milan Chagoury recognized one of his tiger designs on a Gucci tote bag. Both artists claim to have been contacted by Gucci for future collaborations but declined. Smythe reportedly already has legal representation.


Dodging the bullet. While the list of bankruptcies of North American retailers keeps growing, off-price specialist TJX Companies keeps defying the crisis. The latest casualties include teen retailer Papaya Clothing, whose parent Cornerstone Apparel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week, and Sears Canada which just confirmed its plan to file soon. But not everyone is bullish on off-price either.

(Un)usual suspects. Private equity investors might carry some responsibility for the current US retail crisis. Over the last few years, several firms have highly leveraged their retail investments to provide liquidity for their own dividends - without fixing the fundamental problems. Since changes in the US bankruptcy code made it more creditor friendly, retailers are left with much less time to reorganize. Now, both time and money are running out.


Consutaining the consumer. The future of shopping will be a mix of consumption and entertainment, including interactive shopping, robot-supported self-service and security plus inventory transparency at all distribution channels. Deliveries will arrive almost instantly with homes eventually restocking themselves.


Compensation cutback. Due to significantly lower share and option awards, John Idol, Chairman and CEO of Michael Kors Holdings, had his compensation for 2017 reduced from over $15 million in 2015 to $8.59 million this year. Michael Kors, Honorary Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, saw a similar decline from over $15.1 million in 2016 to $8.65 million in 2017.

Gimme50. Rap star Tyga has collaborated on a limited edition menswear collection for British online retailer Boohoo.com. To celebrate its menswear debut in the US, Tyga x BoohooMan is currently available at a 50% promotional discount on the American Boohoo website. Regular prices range from $8 for necklaces and up to $76 for a trucker jacket.


15 shades of Ken. As part of its Fashionistas line, toy-maker Mattel has launched 15 new Ken dolls featuring new skin tones, hair styles and outfits as well as three body types: slim, broad and original. According to Mattel, the expanded product line allows girls to further personalize Ken's role in Barbie's world.


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