Hello ,

Welcome to this midweek edition of The Spin. It seems that Amazon, which has been portrayed as an unstoppable bulldozer, is experiencing a few obstacles in Europe while another online behemoth, Facebook, continues to do some serious pitch control when it comes to protecting user privacy. (You can finally say goodbye to those creepy ads that are reminiscent of Big Brother watching you!) There's also news from Nautica and Nike. Best, Christopher


Not so fast.... Although Amazon recently became the number one seller of apparel and footwear in the US with a 35 percent market share, things remain a lot more slow going for the online giant in Europe, especially fashion-wise. A new report (paywall) says that Amazon has just 8 percent of the apparel and footwear market in Western Europe. Analysts believe that the shortfall is due to Amazon's poorly executed onscreen product displays that don't appeal to more discerning European customers.


All clear. Still attempting to right his ship in the wake of the scandal over potential misuse of private information, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced yesterday that the networking site will soon introduce a new feature that will allow users to empty their browsing history and dump any cookies. Simply called Clear History, the option will stop ads on the site that are based on a user's visits to other sites or search-engine queries.

Rueing the redesign. Snapchat's recent makeover was a big, fat flop according to the Q1 numbers it released yesterday. Panned by more than 1 million unsatisfied users as well as high-profile ones such as Kylie Jenner, the redesign hindered user growth to just 2 percent, or 191 million daily active users. Competitor WhatsApp, meanwhile, has more than 450 million of them.


Done deal. Nautica is officially in new hands. Authentic Brands Group has completed its acquisition of the menswear label from apparel giant VF Corp in a deal that was announced in March 2018. Although terms of the sale remain undisclosed, Nautica is now the largest brand in its new owner's stable which also includes Juicy Couture, Frye and Judith Leiber (see below).


Just (Re)do It. Nike continues to try to change its corporate culture after a survey of female employees there revealed that it was toxic and chauvinistic against women yet ignored (paywall) by human resources and top executives. The company has announced that Amy Montagne, a Nike veteran, will replace vice president Jayme Martin who was let go in wake of the scandal earlier this year. Montagne is the second female executive to be promoted at Nike in the last week.

Judith Leiber 1921-2018. Accessories designer Judith Leiber who was best known for creating artisanal, sculptural handbags encrusted with colorful crystals died of a heart attack at her home on Long Island over the weekend at age 97, just a few hours after her husband of 72 years also passed away there. Leiber began her NYC-based business in 1963 and introduced the first of her signature (and expensive) bags four years later. The bedazzled purses were favorites of society women and celebrities alike.


Pop-up proliferation. As Hong Kong witnesses a retail upswing with monthly retail sales there the best they have been in almost a decade, the asking price for stores' rents is also rising. As a result, more companies there are opening pop-up shops – often in malls – to test the waters before making a permanent commitment. The territory has also seen a general switch from traditional luxury stores to food and beverage experiential ones.


Kids' stuff. With labels from Balmain to Alberta Ferretti recently launching kidswear collections, there's no denying that this sector has legs – and still has a lot of potential growing to do. Now edgier designers such as Telfar Clemens are also getting aboard the bambino boat and making social media stars of their miniature models much like their famous contemporaries such as North West and Blue Ivy Carter. Ah, youth!


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