Welcome back to The Spin! Today we are starting the week with yet another US bankruptcy, a look at what Western retailers can learn from their Chinese counterparts, and how a fashion start-up gets design support from algorithms. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Cheers, Ulrike


There goes the bride. In yet another US retail failure, Alfred Angelo Bridal Signature Stores has unexpectedly closed its 60 US stores and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation, catching many brides-to-be off guard. The brand’s bankruptcy lawyer already received over 7,000 emails, and many frustrated brides vent their annoyance on social media.



30 trillion blouses. With the help of three algorithms, Hybrid Design identifies and then makes products that are missing in the market. Filtering through trillions of product attributes the technology comes up with three base items, then offers three new attributes and three random elements. Still, the final product is put together by human designers. Hybrid Designs is the private label of five-year-old fashion subscription service Stitch Fix.

Speaking about algorithms... In response to US President Donald Trump’s remark (video) to France’s First Lady Brigitte Macron, US sports brand Reebok issued an algorithm on when - and when not - to use Trump's comment “You’re in such good shape…beautiful” which immediately went viral.


Deceptive discounts. Former Nike sales account executive David Reichert has been indicted on federal wire fraud charges. According to court documents he gave his own retail companies discounts up to ten times higher than Nike allowed for its best wholesale customers. After 15 years with the sports giant, Reichert had been fired in July 2014. The fraud supposedly occurred between 2012 and 2014.

From Geneva to Grenchen. Richemont’s Head of Watchmaking, Georges Kern, has resigned from the Geneva-based luxury brand group. He is going to take an unspecified role at Grenchen-based rival watchmaker Breitling, which was sold to CVC Capital Partners in April.


Smooth operator. The Chinese market shows (paywall) where Western retail is going. Sales at physical stores are retracting and eCommerce is now at over 23% of the market. To survive, Chinese retailers merge on- and offline businesses, streamline inventory and gather consumer data for an even smoother operation, successfully moving (paywall) even luxury sales online.

From Down Under to La La Land. A whole bunch of Australian fashion brands has found a new and very receptive home in Los Angeles. Targeting customers with a strong affinity to sun, surf and the free spirited festival culture some are finding themselves right at home while others are already branching out to New York.

Gender bender. While a recent Vogue story on gender fluidity sparked massive backlash on social media, designer Alejandro Gómez Palomo of the genderless fashion brand Palomo Spain is being praised for the dress Beyoncé is wearing in her first photo shoot with her newborn twins…


Keeping the umbrella... Within two weeks, a Chinese umbrella-sharing startup lost almost all of its 300,000 umbrellas. Taking inspiration from bike-sharing firms, Sharing E Umbrella launched its concept in eleven Chinese cities. Unfortunately it did not provide for a functioning return system. But even China's bike sharing companies have seen an increase in theft…

...and sleeping with the Colonel. Kentucky Fried Chicken's new line of KFC- and Colonel Sanders-inspired T-shirts, socks and home goods is selling out. A third of the debut collection is already gone, among them a pillowcase with Colonel Sanders' portrait. The remaining stuff is still available in the KFC Ltd online shop.


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