Welcome back to The Spin! Before we head into the weekend, let's take another look at some of the issues plaguing HBC’s Galeria Kaufhof. We also check out, how California plans to tame its tech titans, and which fast fashion chain’s commercial just made it to the top of Adage’s Viral Video Chart. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Devil in the details. The District Court of Cologne has barred (in German) HBC-owned Galeria Kaufhof from promoting products with broad statements like sustainable, unless it's explained in more detail. A German consumer protection agency sued the retailer, after it claimed that a bra's production was "especially environmentally friendly and/or socially acceptable" without explaining how and which of the attributes were applicable, preventing consumers to make an informed decision. Galeria Kaufhof accepts (paywall; in German) the verdict, emphasizing that this doesn't mean its claims were false, just that further explanation was needed.

Austerity blues. According to a confidential report cited (in German) by German news magazine Der Spiegel, Galeria Kaufhof is close to insolvency and needs drastic austerity measures, while HBC Chairman Richard Baker is criticized for billing the company for travel expenses related to his dog, Bella. Store sales at Kaufhof, which was bought by HBC in 2015, fell from €3.1 billion in 2010 to €2.6 billion in 2017, sapping liquidity.

Surfing the aisles. To build out its apparel offer for young men, US big box retailer Meijer has added an exclusive collection by snow and skate headwear label NEFF, offering graphic T-shirts, tank tops, and shorts. The line is currently available at select Meijer locations and will be rolled out to all 235 stores by fall. NEFF complements Meijer's own surfer-esque young men's brand, Edgar + Ash, which was introduced in 2017.


Pay day. In his ongoing labor dispute with Kering, Hedi Slimane has just been awarded the equivalent of $12.3 million. The argument was over the applicability of a non-compete clause in the former Saint Laurent designer's contract, and over a payment of more than €10 million in connection with the final leg of his contract, which Kering allegedly failed to make. Kering plans to appeal the ruling.

Driving Dior's digital... Jens Riewenherm, the former head of marketing and branding at Neiman Marcus-owned Mytheresa.com, has been named (in Italian) Chief Digital Officer at Christian Dior Couture. Riewenherm will start his new position immediately, focusing on the LVMH-owned luxury label's omnichannel activities.

...and bling. Over at Dior Homme, Yoon Ahn was awarded the position of Jewelry Designer. Ahn is the founder of the hip hop inspired jewelry-turned-lifestyle label Ambush - and a close friend of Dior Homme's new Artistic Director, Kim Jones.


Taming the Wild West. Facebook removed features that gave third-parties access to user data, Twitter suspended 1.2 million terrorism-related accounts, and the clean-up continues. The US state of California plans to legally require social platforms to enable users to report suspected bot messaging. The legislation would also oblige platforms to respond to those notifications and send bimonthly reports on fraudulent activity to the state attorney general.


Dancing with the stars. With nearly 14 million views, H&M's fast-paced dance commercial for its Spring Collection 2018 has debuted in the top spot of the most recent Viral Video Chart. The dynamic dance-a-thon features a mostly female cast including Winona Ryder and Elizabeth Olsen. Adidas' See Creativity spot fell to second place with just over 12.6 million views, and Panasonic's Air Conditioners rounded out the top three.


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