Welcome back to a new issue of The Spin. Today we reflect on Moncler's shake-up, recap Singles' Day which is a splurge in China and the fact that Signa is investing in German trophy properties. We also examine several retailers' initiatives in response to the tsunami of online sales. Nordstrom is now offering 24/7 pickup services and JCPenney is trimming its inventory. Enjoy the read and have a great week. Caroline.


Moncler to end runway collections. Italian luxury house Moncler announced to discontinue its top lines Gamme Rouge and Gamme Bleu and dismiss their designers Giambattista Valli and Thom Browne as part of a new strategy. CEO Remo Ruffini said the biggest brand stores would now become the venue for product launches and events.


High street's Eurodeal. The Austrian group Signa has bought (paywall) five high street properties in Germany from the RFR Group for €1.5 billion. The biggest deal of 2017 in Germany retailing encompasses 70,000 square meters of retail space in Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich. The very busy Signa, owner of Germany's Karstadt department store chain, recently made an unsolicited €3 billion bid for competitor Kaufhof, which is owned by Hudson's Bay.

Careful now, British Santa. British shops suffered their worst October in a decade. The monthly High Street Sales Tracker of business advisory firm BDO found that like for like sales had fallen 5.2 percent in October. Fashion sales fared even worse; they slumped 7.9 percent. The rise in inflation since last year's Brexit vote is squeezing spending power and causing pessimism for the Christmas holiday.


Splurging singles. Singles' Day in China was a smashing success. On November 11, the day that youthful Chinese celebrate the fact that they are still single, customers spent more than $25 billion. Alibaba which heavily promoted the event sold 40 percent more than it did last year. Its competitor announced $19.14 billion in orders in the first eleven days of November.

Grand opening at Sears... Troubled Sears just announced its opening of two stores in Camp Hill (Pennsylvania) and Honolulu (Hawaii). The chain store hopes to replicate the rare success of its Sears Appliances and Mattresses in Pharr (Texas). These new stores offer appointments that boast in-store experts, buy online and ship to store. Alas the good news doesn't negate the fact of its 400 store closures expected in 2017.

...and small gain at JCPenney. JCPenney's third quarter showed a $128 million net loss and a 1.8 percent revenue fall to $2.81 billion. However same store sales climbed 1.7 percent, double what Wall Street had expected. Struggling to keep pace with e-retailers, JCPenney eliminated excess inventory so as to refresh its apparel assortment for the holiday season. The emphasis is on tight inventory, value and price.


Amazon alert. Nordstrom has a new plan to beat Amazon at its own game. The retailer is offering 24/7 curbside package pick up in ten stores in major markets. From December 16 to December 24, online customers will be able to call the phone number on their order confirmation email ten minutes in advance and an employee will meet them at any time, even during the night. Nordstrom is fighting hard: online sales during the last quarter gained 14 percent but comparable store sales fell 0.9 percent.

Amazon offensive. Giant Amazon is getting ready to launch its online retail offering in Australia just before Christmas. Fashion shoots in Melbourne at secret locations are on Amazon's calendar and local big box retailers are already bracing themselves. Powerful Aussie tech investor Jeremy Liew tells them that to survive they need to create digitally native vertical brands.


The golden toilet. Artist Illma Gore found a new use for her $2,000 Louis Vuitton bags. She cut them in pieces to cover a functioning gold toilet. The piece of art, called Loo-uis Vuitton, is on sale at online retailer Tradsy for $100,000. The amateurs who are minimalist oriented can also track a replica of Marcel Duchamp's Fountain.


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