Happy Thursday and welcome back to The Spin! HBC’s activist investor Land and Buildings is pushing HBC to accept Signa's €3 billion offer for German Galeria Kaufhof, but HBC continues to emphasize the importance of its European assets. Meanwhile, Old Navy tries to get in on the subscription box service, while a massive new pop-up shop in Los Angeles offers happiness instead of merchandise. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Tempting offer. Austrian Signa Holding has offered €3 billion for Hudson’s Bay Company’s German Galeria Kaufhof department store chain and other assets. The deal values (in German) Kaufhof’s real estate at €2.63 billion. Activist investor Land and Buildings keeps pressuring HBC to sell its European assets, but the Canadian retail group, which also owns Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, emphasizes its importance and will not comment any further unless required by law. HBC bought Galeria Kaufhof and its Belgian subsidiary Galeria Inno in June 2015 for €2.825 billion.


Super saver. US fast fashion retailer Old Navy is getting in on the subscription service. “Super Box” for kids offers gender-specific shipments with a selection of “preppy, sporty and cool” outfits for boys and “classic, sporty and trendy” looks for girls. Boxes contain six items including accessories and a “surprise me” option with a total retail value of $100, offered in the program for $69.99 and free delivery. Customers who keep all items receive an additional $10 off on the following shipment.

Smiley store. A bright yellow pop-up store in Los Angeles aims to sell customers happiness. Starting November 20th, the 1,900 m² Happy Place in L.A.’s arts district will offer joyous experiences galore. Its 13 rooms are designed for unusual, unique activities like dancing in the world’s largest confetti dome, climbing onto giant birthday cakes and jumping from rainbows into piles of smiley face coins. One room contains a pair of high heels made of hard candy. Selfie snapping is encouraged! Tickets are about $30.


Access is ownership! For decades, large walk-in closets have been the ultimate lifestyle trophy for the wealthy. Just think of Filipino First Lady Imelda Marcos, who left behind at least 1,220 pairs of shoes. But the current boom in shared luxury concepts begs the question if anyone actually needs their own closet in the future. With consumers' easy access to limitless rental closets, apparel retail could take the direction of video tapes and DVDs, which have long made way for downloadable content...

Global ambition. Chinese online giant and Indonesian Provident Capital have invested $19 million in Thai online fashion brand Pomelo. This should allow Pomelo to triple its assortment and further its expansion in Singapore and Indonesia. The brand’s long-term vision is to create the first global online fast fashion brand.

Leaving Hong Kong. Following a massive slowdown in trading, New York-based accessories retailer Tapestry Inc. (formerly Coach) has applied to withdraw its shares from the Hong Kong stock exchange. Back in 2011, Coach launched a secondary listing in Hong Kong. The planned removal seems to indicate that the promised benefits of the secondary listing failed to materialized.


Class action. As part of conspiracy, tax fraud and money laundering charges, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has been accused of spending about $1.3 million during two shopping sprees in New York and Beverly Hills. Among his shopping destinations in New York was the by now closed store of tailor Eugene Venanzi, where suits cost up to $7,500, while Los Angeles lured the fashion aficinado with “the most expensive store in the world”, House of Bijan, which sells ties for $1,000.


Shape shift. From 19th century “column” dresses to a Jackie O inspired ensemble from the 1970s - “The Shape of Fashion” exhibition (image gallery) at the North Carolina Museum of History examines the various forces that have shaped women’s fashion through about 200 years prior to the rise of mass production. In addition to fashion items, the exhibition also includes photographs as well as videos of models going through a multi-step process of donning some of the historical looks.


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