Happy Friday and welcome back to The Spin! While Canada's HBC is taking a very close look at one of its US department store chains, Walmart has started working on synergies with its newest acquisition. On the fashion front, the CFDA, which plans to honor Kim Kardashian West with its inaugural Influencer Award, has unexpected vacancies in its new June schedule. Enjoy the read - and your weekend, Ulrike


Judgement day. Canada’s Hudson's Bay Company has hired financial advisor PJ Solomon and turnaround specialist AlixPartners to evaluate its department store portfolio, cut costs and improve performances. Special focus has been put on HBC's US-based Lord & Taylor department store chain, which accounts for about 10 percent of the group's store portfolio. Since L&T has not met (call transcript) expectations, it might even be put up for sale.


Done deal. With the purchase of a 77 percent stake in Flipkart, which is India's largest e-tailer, Walmart has won the contest with Amazon - but lost (paywall) about 3 percent of its stock value in the aftermath. While some experts interpret the deal as an admission of defeat, others consider it a brilliant long-term move.

Double trouble. Walmart and Flipkart will will maintain separate brands and structures, but explore synergies. Flipkart plans to leverage Walmart's omnichannel retail expertise, supply chain knowledge and financial strength, while its own talent, technology, customer insights and agile, innovative culture should benefit Walmart in India and across the globe.


Slim pickings. With its new NYFW schedule, the CFDA wanted to lure back some of its lost talents like Rodarte and Proenza Schouler which defected to Paris last year. But during the event (June 3 to 7), only a few names are going to show collections for Spring 2019. The remaining 15 brands continue to present resort collections, among them French luxury label Saint Laurent, which had planned its June 6 show independently from the CFDA calendar.


The West wing. In addition to his music and fashion ventures, US rapper Kanye West plans to expand his Yeezy brand into architecture. Via Twitter, West has already started looking for architects and industrial designers "who want to make the world better". Yeezy Home seems a logical extension for the multi-talented creator, who (according to wife Kim Kardashian West) has already been making his own furniture…

First lady. Kim Kardashian West is going to make history on June 4, when she'll be awarded a special Influencer Award at the 2018 CFDA Fashion Awards in partnership with Swarovski. According to the CFDA, she was (press release) one of the first to monetize her digital platforms and create a dialogue with her now over 200 million followers, immediately increasing both awareness and sales for brands that she wears, posts or talks about.


Domestic bliss. While many older Chinese consumers believe that foreign products are better, those born after 1985 don't idealize Western brands over Chinese ones any more. In 2017 the percentage of Chinese consumers between 18 and 65 willing to pay more for domestic sportswear than for international reached 19 percent, from 15 percent in 2010. The country's newest luxury status symbol - a curvy butt - still has its roots in the US, though…


Brilliant stories Antwerp's new DIVA diamond museum, which has been designed to resemble the house of an eccentric collector, drew over 5,000 visitors during its opening weekend. Created to highlight the stories behind some of the world's most beautiful diamonds, the DIVA houses a large array of entertaining areas including a flamboyant Wunderkammer with curious objects, an Atelier featuring the art of diamond cutting, and an elegant jewelry Boudoir, which might offer great inspiration to retailers.


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