Happy Tuesday and welcome back to The Spin! Today we are looking at Michael Kors' latest aquisition, Armani's new brand strategy, and an unexpected increase of retail jobs despite massive store closings. Enjoy the read and feel free to share. Cheers, Ulrike


Snapping stilettos. Fashion house Michael Kors has announced to buy luxury brand Jimmy Choo for US$1.2. The famous stiletto and accessory maker had put itself up for sale in April.


Aligning Armani. Italian luxury brand proclamates a new brand strategy as reported group sales went down 5 per cent in 2016 to €2.51 billion. The brand portfolio will be reduced from seven lines to three (in German).


Precious proposition. Although critics lament Amazon’s surge pricing and find its new social network Spark unauthentic and uninspired, the Seattle-based online giant is on track to becoming the most valuable company on the planet.

...and mall walking. Over in the US, malls strive (paywall) to become gathering points for the community. Mall of America celebrates its 25th anniversary humming with visitors, starting early with elderly mall walkers and finishing late with visitors coming for dinner or midnight movies. Meanwhile, Westfield is implementing (paywall) a set of top notch hospitality services.

Bird watching... Several successful shopping malls have started adding some rather unusual attractions beyond an interesting store line-up. To draw a broad range of visitors, Britain's new Rushden Lakes Shopping Center, for example, is England’s first shopping centre to offer both a Marks & Spencer and birdwatching.


Accepting Apple. J.C. Penney started accepting Apple’s smartphone based payment system nationwide, joining US retailers like Kohl’s, Best Buy and Aldi-owned Trader Joe’s. To enable its Rewards customers to earn loyalty points, J.C. Penney has tied its own store branded credit card into Apple Pay and will also upgrade its own app to complete purchases with the service.


New middle class. According to experts, the demise of physical stores has actually created countless new jobs in the US. While lay-offs at brick-and-mortar stores have reached about 76,000 in the last five years, 395,000 new jobs have been created in eCommerce fulfillment and logistics. Paying about 30% more than traditional retail jobs, these positions help create a new middle class.


From Akqa to Esprit. To elevate its brand strategy Hong Kong-based fashion company Esprit Holdings has created the position of Chief Brand Officer. On August 1st, Rob McIntosh will take over (in German) the position. McIntosh comes from London-based creative agency Akqa and has also worked for brands like Apple and J. Crew.

Tweaking the team. British Vogue’s in-coming Editor-in-Chief Edward Enniful has made three more unconventional hires when he named make-up artists Charlotte Tilbury and Pat McGrath as well as model Adwoa Aboah as Contributing Editors. Earlier this month he had hired top models Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss plus award-winning director Steve McQueen for the same positions.

Pushing the talent. The Portland/Oregon-based Pensole Footwear Design Academy is adding apparel design to its master class programs. The new Functional Apparel and Accessories Studio (FAAS) is supposed to introduce students to all aspects of performance apparel design, including effective use of consumer insights, concept development, sketching, construction, materials and storytelling.

Joining the newcomer. To strengthen its consumer goods buying clout, Walmart India has appointed Devendra Chawla Chief Operating Officer. Chawla changes over from Indian retailer Future Group , where he had just been promoted to CEO of the consumer products division, Future Consumer.


Welcome to the 4th grade. Eight talented teachers are the unexpected stars of Old Navy’s current back-to-school music video campaign. In addition to rocking teachers with different levels of youtube notoriety real-life students participate as well.


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