Today we check out who's inspiring the bold styles of edgy designer brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton, take a closer look at how Germany's Federal Cartel Offices is getting its point across, and highlight China's ongoing online dilemma. Enjoy the read and feel free to share. Best, Ulrike


The corrections. Excluding groceries, the share of eCommerce in US retail is much higher than the commonly quoted 10%. According to Fung Global Retail & Tech, online sales for nonfood already make up about 14.6% of US retail sales. Online sales for apparel and footwear are currently at 24% and are expected grow to 40% by the 2030s.


Payday. Germany’s Federal Cartel Office has fined (in German) retailer Peek & Cloppenburg (P&C) Düsseldorf and outerwear company Wellensteyn a total of €10.9 million. Both companies have been accused of price fixing activities between April 2008 and 2013. According to the Bundeskartellamt, Wellensteyn stipulated minimum prices and forbade price reductions and online sales, while P&C allegedly accepted and reinforced these practices.

Defying the odds. Two high-end fashion stores in San Francisco’s Mission District score with carefully selected merchandise, a laid-back atmosphere and deep knowledge about designers and products. Both Le Point and Anaise create an feeling that recalls a visit to a friend’s house rather than a shopping trip.


Let the season begin. Artist collaborations, star power and a spacey wonderlands with dinosaurs - the fall fashion campaigns show no shortage of creativity. Gucci goes Star Trek, Moncler hides Chinese artist Liu Bolin in an iceberg, and Kenzo’s sad clowns reference the Fellini classic La Dolce Vita.

Glam rock. The bold 70s style of Kansai Yamamoto is making a comeback. Known best for the sculptural outfits of David Bowie’s 1972 Ziggy Stardust tour, the 73-year-old Japanese designer is currently strongly influencing European designer labels. For fall, names like Gucci, Valentino and Givenchy are showing interpretations of his bold graphics, while French power house Louis Vuitton is paying him overt homage in its resort 2018 collection.


From food to fashion. US retailer JCPenney has named Jeffrey Davis CFO. Davis was most recently CFO at Darden Restaurants and has also worked in several finance positions for retail giant Walmart. Davis succeeds Andrew Drexler, who took the job on an interim basis following the resignation (paywall) of Edward Record.


One step forward... Although China is currently taking the lead in internet security with quantum encryption, the country is making (paywall) a large step backwards with massive Internet lockdowns and the shut-down of virtual private networks (VPNs) that are crucial for direct international connections by foreign companies.

...two steps back. According to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology the restrictions apply only to unlicensed service providers and offers alternatives, but according to US industry research more than 3,000 sites are currently blocked, affecting billions of dollars in foreign businesses.


Aptos expands. US retail technology provider Aptos Inc has signed a definite agreement to buy TXT Retail, a global provider of merchandise lifecycle management solutions for the apparel and luxury retail sector. Aptos, which backed by Apex Partners, will pay €85 million for TXT Retail which counts 500+ clients including Adidas, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Urban Outfitters and Zalando.


More sharable. US lifestyle brands have discovered a new category of brand ambassadors. Furry faced social media pets with millions of followers have proven to be convincing social influencers with an added benefit: They also help to point out marketers’ pro-animal activities.


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