Happy Monday and welcome back to The Spin! Today's news are all about strategy. What should Westfield suitor's do, now that the value of its offer is in such decline? How should Alibaba's rival structure its entry to the American market? There are also rich developments on the brand side. Stella McCartney could go solo, Dior is finally opening a shop in Berlin, and the MyTheresa founders are back. Enjoy the read! Cheers, Caroline


On second thought. Westfield's suitor, European Unibail-Rodamco may be obliged to increase its bid. When the real estate company announced its $15.8 billion offer in December, everybody seemed to rejoice. With its European flair, the new owner might be able to bring Westfield's failing malls in America back from the brink. However, since the deal was announced, currency fluctuations and the drop of Unibail's shares have substantially reduced the value of the bid, opening the door for new bidders.


Chinese chess game. JD.com, the second largest Chinese e-commerce player is working on a fulfillment center in Los Angeles to challenge Amazon and Walmart in their domestic market. JD founder Richard Liu is negotiating with Chinese Tencent Holdings for the sale of a 15 percent stake in its logistics arm. Liu plans to start eCommerce in the US by the second half of 2018.


Au revoir Stella? French Kering group is in talks (paywall) with Stella McCartney to sell its 50 percent stake back to the designer. Both entities have been partners since 2001 through a 50/50 joint venture. Kering declines to disclose the brand's revenue but annual global sales are estimated to be around $150-200 million. Apparently, that's not enough for the French group, which wants to focus on blockbuster luxury brands. Kering also recently announced its plan to spin off German sportswear brand Puma.


Back in the game. MyTheresa founders are (paywall; in German) back. After selling their luxury e-boutique to Neiman Marcus for €150 million, Susanne and Christoph Botschen had to honor their non compete agreement. Three years later, they are now free to explore other possibilities. Thus, they are launching a new site in March, focused on luxury shoes. The competition is less brutal in shoes, and footwear is one of the fastest luxury categories online.

New Berlin walls. Dior is opening (paywall) its first stand alone store in Berlin. The flagship exhibits the entire men and women collections, as well as jewelry and perfume. Dior has incorporated works of art into the retail environment with he use of trompe l'oeil effects, repurposed materials and Versailles parquet floors. The luxury brand is already present in Germany in Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich.

A twofer. Hundreds of jobs are at risk at British Topshop and Topman stores. Last summer, Arcadia, the owner of both brands, appointed consultants to find ways to restructure retail management. Now the verdict is in: Wherever Topshop and Topman are located in the same building, or just near by, one of the two brand managers should be eliminated. There are 300 Topshop and 250 Topman stores in the United Kingdom.


Mourning Ingvar Kamprad. The man who revolutionized furniture retail has passed at the age of 91. The Swedish founder of Ikea converted a small scale catalog business into a global empire with 412 stores in 49 countries.The thrifty billionaire invented a winning concept: keeping low prices by letting customers assemble themselves their furniture. Because of Kamprad, home textiles at Ikea have remained clean, colorful and affordable.


New cycle. MAMILs, short for Middle Aged Men In Lycra, are having their fifteen minutes of fame. An Australian documentary follows them on their bike tours throughout Australia, the US and Great Britain. Numerous MAMILs claim to get on their bikes just to keep stimulated, youthful and vibrant. Apparently, aesthetics have been of minor importance so far...


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