Happy Thursday and welcome back to the Spin. Today we put the spotlight on HBC's German jumble with Galeria Kaufhof and rival Signa Holdings, tell you about American Apparel's return to retail, and highlight the allegedly first Christian shoe brand ever. Enjoy the read and feel free to share, Ulrike


HBC commits to Europe, Galeria Kaufhof... As the conflicts around Galeria Kaufhof are heating up, Canadian owner Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) has strongly reinforced its commitment (in German) to the German department store chain and to Europe. Although HBC admits that business is developing slower than expected, the company supports Galeria Kaufhof's strategic plans.


...and takes Signa to task. Following a slew of negative press reports alleging that Galeria Kaufhof cannot make certain debt payments, HBC lawyers are demanding (in German) an immediate cease and desist declaration from René Benko, Chairman of rival chain Karstadt's owner Signa Holding, who they suspect of fueling those reports. In 2015, HBC beat (in German) Signa in the bid for Galeria Kaufhof.

Power players. According to the August issue of the National Retail Federation's Stores magazine, Macy's, L Brands and Dillard’s are the top selling retailers for premium apparel in the US. Highest ranking apparel retailer among the top "100 Hot Retailers" is Ascena Retail Group (Ann Taylor, Catherines, Dress Barn, Lane Bryant, Maurices) placed on No. 3 after online retailers Blue Apron (meals) and Wayfair (furniture). The entire list can be viewed here.

Only the rich. To bank on the importance of exclusivity to Chinese luxury spenders, Alibaba has created an invite-only Luxury Pavilion on its Tmall platform. Targeting ultra rich customers and select members of the Alibaba Passport (APASS) club for top online shoppers, the Luxury Pavillion will feature high end brands like Hugo Boss, Burberry, Guerlain and Maserati.


Learning lab. Uniqlo plans to roll out ten apparel vending machines at large US airports and shopping malls. According to the Fast Retailing -owned company, vending machines are a convenient way to sell travel friendly clothes to harried consumers who don't have time to explore a physical store. As part of Uniqlo's revised expansion plans, these machines currently serve as learning labs.

The next big IPO. Subscription-based online style service Stitch Fix is going to go public this Friday. As more consumers opt for apparel subscription services, this could be Wall Street’s next big IPO. The valuation of the San Francisco-based company is estimated to be $3 billion to $4 billion.


Return to retail. Canadian apparel maker Gildan Activewear is bringing back the American Apparel (AA) brand. Starting August 14, the label is going to be available through its former eCommerce site. Gildan Activewear bought AA in January and closed all 110 stores. Since then, the label had only been distributed through wholesale.

Fashion drop. Following allegations against the A$AP Mob co-founder and VLONE designer A$AP Bari, Nike has terminated the collaboration with the rap star. The Air Force 1 x VLONE sneaker, which debuted in June, will be discontinued. An incriminating video which has since been deleted from A$AP's twitter page showed activity that could be interpreted as sexual assault.

Holy sneaker. Singapore-based entrepreneur Kenneth Yu has launched what he calls the world's first Christian shoe brand, Neon Apostle (video). Combining functionality, faith and footwear, the line has been designed for customers to express their faith. In August, Neon Apostle will expand to include kidswear


Salmon soles. Milan-based food artist Yujia Hu uses fish and sticky rice to create elaborately detailed hip hop stars and footwear - among them a salmon Nike's Airmax 97 and Adidas Originals' Stan Smith and Superstar.

Pistol pop-up. The National Rifle Association (NRA), which is currently being criticized for its Carry Guard self defense insurance program, has started opening pop-up shops during its live events, including its annual meeting. These shops offer a similar assortment as the online shop including functional apparel and bags.


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