Welcome back to a new issue of The Spin. Today we dabble in big events: The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and Black Friday. We also keep abreast of developments at Amazon and Alibaba. For instance, Amazon’s retail rival is investing in brick-and-mortar stores. Please enjoy the read. Caroline


Chinese extravaganza. Yesterday Victoria’s Secret celebrated annual fashion show was held in Shanghai and everything went smoothly. Bella Hadid suffered a wardrobe malfunction as she raised her arms while dancing and showed a bit more than planned. However, this was no big deal. With this extravaganza over, the owner of Victoria’s Secret can now focus on growing the brand in China. The women's underwear market there is evaluated at $25 billion.


Spring roll. Spring Studios, the creative agency and production expert of the fashion industry, is expanding to five key cities internationally: New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris and Milan. Their concept is to offer co-working space over the next three years to 10,000 members, with support services and access to creative peers in each town. Professionals already use Spring facilities in New York, London and Milan. Their Los Angeles hub will open during the first half of 2018.



Black week. Customers need not wait for Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving Americans are rushing to the stores to get the best discounts. However, retailers have quietly changed the rules of the game, and now offer significant discounts during the entire week. According to Adobe predictions Thursday is now the best day to buy sporting goods or clothing and Friday is the best day for jewelry. If customers can wait until the week before Christmas the deals are even better for apparel.


Black weekend. Combining Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the days in between, RetailMeNot’s survey data shows a big hike in consumer spending. The consultant expects the average consumer to spend $743, a 47 percent increase from the same period last year. Customers will be attracted by an average 37.3 percent merchandise discount, according to Thomson Reuters. Off-price retailers such as TJX Companies and Ross Stores will be the big beneficiaries of this holiday event.

Brick-and-mortar bet. E-commerce giant Alibaba has just announced an investment of $2.88 billion for a 36 percent stake in the big box retailer Sun and Retail Group, a French-Taiwanese joint venture that runs 450 large Walmart-like stores in China under the RT Mart and Auchan labels. Wilhelm Hubner, head of Auchan retail, said (paywall) that he intends to first work with Alibaba in China. Further partnerships in other countries could follow.

British turnaround. On Monday morning, British clothing chain Bonmarché enjoyed a strong opening on the stock exchange: its share price rose 10 percent. Analysts expressed their delight at the company’s first half results.Revenue grew 5 percent to £97.8 million and its pretax profit more than doubled to £4.2 million. Bonmarché is in the midst of a turnaround led by its CEO Helen Conolly. She relaunched higher quality collections that sell at full price.


IPO time? Sebastian Suhl, ex-CEO of Marc Jacobs International, will join (paywall) Valentino in January. The future managing director for global markets will support the ongoing worldwide expansion of the brand. However, his nomination may signal a renewed focus on a Valentino initial public offering for 2018. Suhl was preparing Marc Jacobs International for an IPO. Valentino is controlled by the Mayhoola Group from Qatar.


Speedy delivery. Amazon quietly speeds up warehouse visits with a new mobile app called Relay. Truck drivers get in and out of warehouses by using a QR code to get through the security gate. Relay obviates the need for phone calls and paperwork that once delayed the delivery of goods. Experts speculate that Amazon could disrupt the entire shipping industry the way it changed the retail universe. In 2015 Amazon acquired its own trucking fleet and in 2016 the company bought its first air cargo.


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