Happy Tuesday and welcome back to a new edition of The Spin. Today, the news have a few similar themes. Two companies have announced acquisitions, one is putting itself up for sale, and two retail giants are alarming their vendors with their strong expansion into private labels. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Cheers, Ulrike


Getting to work. US apparel giant VF Corporation is taking over workwear maker Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Co. for $820 million. The acquisition will instantly double the sales of VF's imagewear coalition (Bulwark FR, Horace Small, Red Kap) to about $1.7 billion. VF owns about 20 brands including Vans, The North Face, Timberland, Wrangler and Lee. Williamson-Dickie is best known for Dickies scrubs and Walls outdoor coveralls.


Secret mission. Amazon has quietly ramped up the development of its private label products. Among the 800+ trademarks that Amazon is holding or has applied for at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), US news outlet Quartz has identified 19 names that already exclusively sell product on Among them are eight clothing and accessories lines - from Arabella to Scout + Ro - as well as consumer goods, cosmetic, tech product and linen labels with many more to come.

Polishing the portfolio... Target is far more outspoken about its own aggressive private-label initiatives. To pick up market share from struggling fashion chains, the Plano, Texas-based company plans to launch at least a dozen new in-house brands within the next 18 months. Simultaneously, the retailer's long-running and well-known labels Mossimo and Merona will be phased out.

...and betting on emotion. Based on the success of its Cat & Jack kids' label, which hit $2 billion in sales in its first year, Target has just introduced the A New Day with stylish womenswear. It will be followed in September by the modern-meets-classic menswear line Goodfellow & Co and the activewear brand JoyLab. Additional lines are expected to launch soon.


Looking for a match. Online lux retailer Matchesfashion, which has just announced plans for a new 2230 sqm creative hub in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, is said to be in takeover talks about a £600 sale. Several investment companies including Apax Partners, KKR and Permira are expected to bid.

Leap of luxury. Chinese online retailer, which invested about $400 million into luxury retailer Farfetch in June, plans to install (paywall) a luxury platform on its standard retail site, keeping up with rival Alibaba, which launched a luxury platform earlier this month.


Chasing Amazon. To ramp up its supply chain, US discounter Target Corporation will acquire the transportation software platform Grand Junction for an undisclosed sum. The San Francisco-based company matches retailers with local delivery companies. Since June, it has been testing its technology as part of the Target Restock service at a Target branch in New York. Following the acquisition, the company will be integrated into Target's technology team.


From Berlin to Nagold. German Digel AG has named (in German) Michael Berngruber member of the board. The 49-year-old comes from Berlin-based Clinton Group and has also worked for brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Hugo Boss. He will join the Nagold-based menswear specialist on November 1, taking responsibility for product, distribution and marketing. He replaces Michael Bischof who left for (in German) competitor Roy Robson in July.


Stylish skies. Although dress codes have been getting increasingly lax, there is one area where a good outfit might actually pay off: air travel. As airlines tend to overbook, they often need to upgrade passengers to first or business class. If there are not enough top customers to fill those seats, the best dressed passenger/s just might get lucky. On the other hand, flyers who show too much skin or wear outfits with offensive slogans run a serious risk of being bumped...


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