Happy Friday and welcome to the final edition of The Spin this week. With just two days until the arrival of Earth Day, Amazon continues its worldwide domination, extreme weather causes sales declines, Gucci and Guess declare peace and brands prepare to honor the planet on Sunday. Enjoy the read – and have a happy (and green) weekend. Best, Christopher


Prime number. In his annual letter to shareholders that was released this week Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed the previously undisclosed number of Amazon Prime subscribers worldwide and it's a whopper: More than 100 million people – which is greater than the population of Germany – pay for the service upgrade. The figure far exceeds previous analyst estimates. The continuing growth of Amazon Prime has Morgan Stanley predicting that the online giant will surpass Walmart as the No. 1 apparel retailer in the United States this year.

Depressed Debenhams. UK retail chain Debenhams has declared its second profit warning in four months after revealing yesterday that its profit for the first half of the fiscal year was down 52 percent. Citing company restructuring and a March snowstorm that caused it to temporarily close stores as reasons for the fall, the store also announced that its CFO, Matt Smith, was leaving to serve as finance director at Selfridges.

Final sale. Bankrupt retailer The Bon-Ton will start its final liquidation sale today in preparation for the closing of all 256 of its physical stores across the US. The final promotion is expected to last 10 to 12 weeks and all the stores – which include Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers – will be shuttered by August 31.


America online. As the US Supreme Court continues to ponder a case about whether states can collect sales taxes from online retailers with no physical presence within their borders, a new study by Forrester Research says that online sales in the US will continue to boom. It says that they will be more than $506 billion this year and surpass $712 billion by 2022. It also revealed that 98 percent of all Americans are online at least once a day.

Snow fall. Wintery weather in the UK is being blamed for the worst retail sales figures in the UK in a year. Sales there dropped 0.5 percent between January and March and 1.2 percent from February to March when the so-called "Beast from The East" snowstorm hit the country. On the upside, however, sales are excepted to improve this month thanks to improving weather.


That's settled. After feuding for nearly a decade, Gucci and Guess are good again and announced that they have settled their longtime legal battle over trademark infringement and intellectual property, which began in 2009 when the former sued the latter for allegedly using its trademarked "G" designs. The terms were not disclosed but the deal will halt all litigation in the four countries – Italy, France, Australia and China – where it was pending.

Blackmail branding. Australian casual menswear brand YP Threads has apologized for sending a promotional email to customers that claimed to have embarrassing photos of them and threatened to release them to school and employers unless they purchased some clothing from its site. Created by a third-party agency, the meant-to-be-funny campaign seriously backfired when some recipients thought they were indeed being blackmailed.


Planet promos. Earth Day will be celebrated this Sunday April 22 by the world – and several fashion companies are marking it too. Among the eco-friendly initiatives to expect are the launch of Hurley and Pendleton Woolen Mills collaboration that honors four National Parks in the US and a new campaign (press release) by The Real Real and Stella McCartney that promotes a circular economy and reselling of luxury items.


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