Happy Tuesday and welcome back to The Spin! While the fashion elite celebrated divine design at yesterday's Met Gala, Amazon continued its mundane pursuit of global retail dominance. Over in Europe, HBC plans to reduce its retail footprint, while Karl Lagerfeld shares some of the things he is "fed up" with. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Growing giant. Fueled by an anticipated growth spurt with food, drugs, apparel and home, Amazon's share of total US retail sales is expected to reach almost 10 percent by 2020. Additional growth factors include the planned rollout of Prime Now Grocery service, and the increase of the Prime membership fee from $99 to $119. In 2017, Amazon accounted for 4 percent of the total US retail sales volume and 44 percent of US eCommerce sales.



Out of HBC. Last Friday, Hudson's Bay Company dismissed (in German) Wolfgang Link, its European Retail Director and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of its German Galeria Kaufhof department store chain. That same day, HBC investor L&T B (Cayman), which is co-owned by HBC's Executive Chairman Richard Baker, sold 64,000 HBC shares for a total value of about C$569,600.00.

Reduced footprint. As part of HBC Europe's transformation plan, two Galeria Kaufhof stores in Solingen and Hof are scheduled to close (paywall; in German) in early 2019. Over in Canada, the highly leveraged retail group and its joint venture partner RioCan REIT are going to sell Hudson's Bay's flagship store in Vancouver to an Asian buyer for about C$675 million. According to previous reports, Hudson's Bay plans to lease back space in the property.


Kvetching with Karl. Karl Lagerfeld is fed up with a lot of things, among them Virgil Abloh, the #MeToo movement - and seemingly his watch licensee as well. Focusing on what he can change, King Karl has moved the license from Fossil to Swarovski, which will now add its signature sparkle to the time pieces. Swarovski's been holding (press release) Karl Lagerfeld's jewelry license since 2017.


Tartan dispute. In an $8 million trademark infringement lawsuit, British fashion label Burberry is suing Target Stores for "repeated, willful, and egregious misappropriation of Burberry's famous and iconic check trademarks." Filed at the New York Southern District Count, the lawsuit alleges that the discounter has been selling reproductions of Burberry's trademarked check pattern for over a year, not responding to cease and desist letters. Products cited include scarves, bags, eyewear and water bottles.

College conquests. German sports giant Adidas has signed a 10-year partnership with Eastern Kentucky University athletics. Under the contract, Adidas will supply the university's 16 varsity athletic teams with footwear, apparel, and accessories and provide the equipment for its baseball team. Earlier this year, Adidas signed similar deals with Washington State University's Huskies college football team, and the North Dakota Fighting Hawks teams.


Broken box. Once valued at almost $500 million, the highly leveraged subscription service Birchbox is struggling to find a buyer. Following months of unsuccessful talks with the likes of Walmart and QVC, the investment company Viking has agreed to pump an additional $15 million into the New York-based company. This deal effectively wipes out Birchbox's other investors including Accel Partners and First Round Capital, which are left empty-handed.


Like a prayer. Top celebrities including Rihanna, Madonna and Katy Perry chandelled their inner goddesses at yesterday's Catholic-themed Met Gala. Clad in a pearl encrusted "pope" outfit, the event's hostess Rihanna stole the show. Madonna, who unofficially owns the theme since her Like a Prayer video, opted for a dramatic goth robe by longtime fashion collaborator Jean Paul Gaultier, while Katy Perry struck a dramatic pose in oversized angel wings. See most of the night's outfits here.


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