Happy Tuesday and welcome back to The Spin! As we move into the week, the game of musical chairs continues. As does the quest for denim dominance: Independent from each other, both a US discounter and a New York-based reality star are releasing their own, affordably priced jeans wear lines for women. We also tell you, why R&B star The Weeknd has severed ties with H&M. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Back to the Rack. Geevy Thomas, Chief Innovation Officer at Nordstrom, is going to resume the position of President at Nordstrom Rack in March. Thomas takes over from Karen McKibbin, who held the position since January 2017. Thomas has been with the Seattle-based company since 1983, already serving as President of Nordstrom Rack between 2010 and 2017. McKibbin, who joined (paywall) Nordstrom in 1985, is going to retire from Nordstrom in March.


Bree without Bree. Axel Bree, CEO and Managing Partner of German handbag company Bree Collection GmbH, has unexpectedly stepped down (in German). For now, Stefan Treiber who has been on the company’s advisory board since 2014, will assume (in German) leadership. Bree Collection was founded by Renate and Wolf Peter Bree in 1970. In 2001, their sons Philipp and Axel took over. Philipp left the company 2012 to launch his own label, PB0110, while Axel's plans have not yet been revealed.


Customer central. Spanish fast fashion retail chain Mango, which recently sold (in Spanish) its headquarter in Palau de Plegamans near Barcelona to Invest Real Estate, is creating (in Spanish) a new "customer" division. Combining CRM, loyalty and customer service, the department is designed (in German) to share all customer information with all divisions, optimizing Mango's omni-channel activities on the basis of its customers' needs. It will be headed by newly appointed Customer Director Guillermo Corominas.

Target's thread. US discounter Target is planning to launch a new jeans wear line for women. Dubbed Universal Thread, the line will be grounded in denim and also include tops, dresses, accessories and shoes, all retailing for $5 to $40. This line is part of the planned expansion of Target's private label range by at least a dozen lines.


Skinny empire. In Partnership with One Jeanswear Group, US reality star Bethenny Frankel of the Real Housewives of New York will launch her own jeans wear line this fall. Skinnygirl jeans is part of Frankel's Skinnygirl enterprise that started in 2011 with a low-calorie cocktail company that has since been sold. Last May, Frankel also launched Skinnygirl specialty foods. Her jeans wear will include (paywall) denim pants, jackets and knit tops for women in a broad range of sizes and retail for around $100.


Challenging the banks. On January 13, new regulations for payment services are taking effect in Europe and the UK, likely to boost the business of tech giants in those regions. In addition to services like Paypal, consumers will soon be able to make payments and transfer money through tech companies like Google, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. When those companies get access to their users' bank accounts and commence processing their payments, traditional banks will begin to lose access to data crucial for things like effective risk management.

Motivational factor. A high turnover of sales associates negatively affects luxury stores even more than regular retailers. As retail workers' routines are disrupted by changing consumer behavior, the retention of high-performing employees has become one of our industry's top priorities. For Chinese retail employees, staying at one job depends less on the money and more on motivation, inspiration and the feeling of being highly valued.


Monkey business. H&M's image of a black boy modeling a sweatshirt caused outrage on social media for its "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle" slogan. Thousands of users perceived the print as racial. The Weeknd even severed ties with H&M over the image. The Canadian R&B star has been modeling and collaborating with H&M since 2017. H&M has apologized and taken down the image.


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