Welcome back to The Spin! This week, a slew of good news on both the retail and marketing fronts allow for a speck of optimism. Higher profits, new openings and innovative concepts are a welcome counterbalance to recent doomsday scenarios, helping retail stocks become some of the biggest gainers. Enjoy the read and - as always - feel free to share. Best, Ulrike


On the rebound. After several years marred by profit declines, 26 large US clothing and footwear brands including Nike, Levi's, Ralph Lauren and PVH's Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger seem to be back on track for growth. But due to weak traffic and a strong dollar, the projected upswing will be slower than anticipated. For this year, Moody's has already reduced the sector's projected profit growth to 3-5 percent, from 5-7 percent.


Flipping the cart. US online giant Amazon, whose global ad business is projected to reach about $20 billion by the end of the decade, is said to be considering a bid to acquire Flipkart. The Indian eCommerce platform, which also holds eBay India and fashion e-tailer Jabong, is currently in talks to sell a 55 percent stake to US discounter Walmart. Flipkart was launched in 2007 by two former Amazon employees.


Barney's of Weed. A 10,000 sq. ft. store for marijuana and related products will open on Manhattan's posh Fifth Avenue, right across from the Lord & Taylor flagship store that was just sold to WeWork. Operated by Californian cannabis grower MedMen, the outpost at 433 Fifth Avenue is scheduled to open on April 20, reflecting the pot smoker's code 420. Dubbed the "Barneys of Weed", it will only service state residents with a doctor's prescription - for now.

Joining Adidas and Nike. On that same day, four-year-old shoe brand Greats is going to open its first store in New York, just around the corner from Adidas and Nike. The Brooklyn-based company, which specializes in Italian-made leather sneakers, already operates brick-and-mortar locations in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles. Greats' future plans include the addition of accessories, bags and shirts and a global expansion.


Exit strategy. Macy's longtime CFO Karen Hoguet plans to retire in February 2019, prompting the retailer to start an external search for a successor. On March 1, Hoguet sold 67,515 shares of Macy's stock at an average price of $29.39 for a total of $1,984,265.85.


Input strategy. To allow more customers to pick up online purchases at its stores, Macy's plans to roll out lockers. According to analysts, the service, which was pioneered by Amazon, should increase the omnichannel profit for Macy's.


Fight for Black Friday. According to German industry magazine TextilWirtschaft, the German Patent and Trademark Office has cancelled (paywall; in German) the "Black Friday" trademark. The term had been registered in 2013 by Hong Kong-based Super Union Holdings, which licensed it to Vienna-based Black Friday GmbH to enforce it. Fearing legal action, many companies seized using the term, opting instead for versions like "Black Sale". Super Union has already filed for an appeal. Until the verdict (which is expected in 2019) the brand protection remains active.


Clothes in prose. Many great authors have put a strong focus on their protagonists' attire, both to illustrate appearance, individuality, class and connection, as well as highlight themes like inferiority, insecurity, alienation and escape. Another Magazine has compiled eight apparel related short stories by famed female writers including Colette, Margaret Atwood and Virginia Woolf, who take their readers to masked balls, funerals and even a bra fitter's studio.


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