Hello ,

Happy Wednesday and welcome back to The Spin! Today we tell you, which US retailer aims to benefit from China's new two-child policy and which online giant is eyeing at least some of the stores of a bankrupt toy retailer. We also tell you, which Italian luxury brand is hinting at an uppermost collaboration, and why a budding new retail sector is getting some US city officials puffed. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Cheers, Ulrike


Slippery slope. Buyout talks between luxury retailer Nordstrom's special committee and the Nordstrom family have been terminated. Discussions about a possible privatization of the company started in June and led to a recent offer of $50 per share, which was rejected as too low. Following the announcement, the Nordstrom stock slipped 2.23 percent to $48.25.


Little children. The Children's Place has signed (press release) a licensing agreement with Zhejiang Semir Garment, the parent company of Chinese kids apparel retailer Balabala, to bring the New Jersey-based kidswear retailer into the Chinese market. The plan is to open an online presence and at least 300 The Children's Place locations store during the first five years. China has recently shifted from a one-child to a two-child policy, doubling the sales forecast for children's wear to about $48 million by 2025.


Ready to play. US online giant Amazon is said to be considering the purchase of an unspecified number of locations from bankrupt Toys R Us chain, which will close and try to sell its over 800 US stores. On average, these stores measure about 3,300 sqm. The acquisition could dramatically increase the online giant's retail footprint, following the purchase of US food retailer Whole Foods Market with over 450 locations last year.

Chaotic storage. To reduce picking errors, Amazon warehouses store similar items apart from each other. Otherwise merchandise is held wherever there's room. At first sight, the online giant's robot-run (video) system appears chaotic, but it does save (video) space and time and increases flexibility and accuracy. FedEx has already made steps to follow Amazon into the robotic future by installing its own bots, and also plans new locations at 500 Walmart stores.

Spreading the joy. Following the installation of shoppable posts in the US, Instagram has now exported the initiative to the UK, France, Italy, Germany and five other countries. Retailer Marks & Spencer, model and designer Heidi Klum and online merchant Mahabis will be among the first in the UK to create posts with tags for products that followers can click to buy. Last month Instagram also started offering shopping-enabled ads.


The Italian job. Stefano Gabbana keeps fueling the rumor mill about a possible collaboration between Italian luxe label Dolce & Gabbana and high-profile US skater brand Supreme, possibly linked to Supreme's planned store opening in Milan. According to several Instagram posts, the line might be released for fall/winter 2018.


Leave me alone! In stores, apparel customers prefer to ask their friends' opinion via social media rather than enlist the assistance of sales associates. While retailers try to empower (paywall) their sales force with new technologies, a staggering 95 percent of consumers want to be left alone when shopping unless they have a particular question. Simultaneously, customer demand for in-store technology like free wifi, price scanners and mobile POS systems keeps rising.


Potshops' city limits. The legalization of marijuana in vast parts of North America has started to create demand for physical retail spaces. Some markets already fear so-called marijuana clusters, prompting Boston to create buffer zones and city limits for the location of pot shops. Even Amazon, Walmart and HomeDepot are getting in on the game, offering potting soil and soil additives that are primarily used for growing marijuana.


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