Happy Wednesday and welcome back to The Spin! While Congress remains divided on new tax rules for interstate eCommerce in the US, the relentless musical chairs at fashion and retail companies continues. We also check out Walmart's latest move in its battle with Amazon, and tell you, how some ink made its way into the windows at Saks Fifth Avenue. Enjoy the read and - as always - feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


A for Amazon. US eCommerce giant Amazon has just snagged the title of "most valuable retail brand" in WPP's BrandZ Top 75 Global Retail Brands, followed by Alibaba in third place (after McDonald's) as well as Louis Vuitton (6), Nike (7), Walmart (8), Hermès (9) and Zara (10). In the UK, Amazon now ranks fifth in market share at 4.2 percent. Tesco leads with a 12.5 percent share, with Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons rounding out the top five.

Waking up Walmart. In its ongoing rivalry with Amazon, US retail giant Walmart is revamping its website, making it easier to reorder items and check order status. In addition to sleek design, the site will be (paywall) highly personalized with browsing options for high-end goods, information on trending items and profiles of nearby stores. It's scheduled (press release) to go live in May.


From Ferragamo to Weitzman... On April 30, Eraldo Poletto, who abruptly left the CEO position at Salvatore Ferragamo in February, is taking the position of CEO and Brand President at Stuart Weitzman. Poletto succeeds Wendy Khan, who is leaving (press release) the company, and will work closely with the brand's new Creative Director, Giovanni Morello. He'll report to Victor Luis, CEO of Tapestry Inc (formerly Coach Inc), which acquired Stuart Weitzman in January 2015. Ferragamo is still seeking a new CEO.

...VF to Lululemon... Patrick Guido, currently VP and Treasurer at VF Corporation, has been named CFO at Lululemon Athletica. In late April, he'll take over financial responsibilities from CFO and COO Stuart Haselden, who held (SEC filing) both roles since 2017. Prior to his seven-year stint at VF, Guido also worked for Home Depot and Saks Fifth Avenue. At Lululemon he will focus on international expansion to help lift annual sales to $4 billion by 2020. This is the latest in a string of executive shake-ups at the Canadian yoga wear chain.

...and Sears to Signa. Dr. Stephan Zoll has been named CEO at Signa Sports Group, a newly created position at the German sports trading platform. Zoll is currently President Online at Sears Holding Corporation and previously served as VP and Managing Director for eBay. When he joins (paywall; in German) Berlin-based Signa Sports on July 1, he'll also temporarily assume the management of Internetstores, whose current CEO Markus Winter will leave the company.


Saks Ink. Tattoos are hitting the mainstream, and even fortune 500 billionaires getting inked. To get in on the action, Saks Fifth Avenue plans to install a live tattoo parlor in a window at its store in New York's financial district. Operated by Rivington Tattoo, the project is part of the luxury retailer’s concept floor, The Wellery, which was first launched at the Manhattan flagship in May 2017. Last year, Saks experimented with body piercings with a Venus by Maria Tash popup at its "The Collective" store in Greenwich, CT.


To buy and not to hold. As the value of cryptocurrencies has soared and more merchants begin to accept Bitcoin and Co, many wealthy early adopters are turning their digital fortunes into tangible luxury products. So-called crypto brokers help to discreetly convert digital funds into hard assets like real estate, rare cars, art pieces or luxury watches and bags. After all, most crypto millionaires want to spend, not hold their fortune.


Dr. Dress. Following (video) a rape and ensuing depression, Dawnn Karen, Americas first black female psychology professor at NYC's Fashion Institute of Technology, started wearing power outfits to heal herself. Now, the 29-year-old former model tries to make a difference both at the FIT and via online courses for fashion psychology at her own Fashion Psychology Institute. Focusing on stereotypes in fashion and race, she aims to highlight the power of style on self-esteem.


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