Happy Tuesday and welcome back to The Spin! As retail giants Walmart and Alibaba work to gain a foothold in the luxury market, high-end merchants continue to modify their stores and assortments. There's also a French brand taking new aim at the US market, and yet another high-level creative ousted for improper conduct. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


New Ordre. Alibaba has made a strategic investment in the global online fashion wholesale platform Ordre, which hosts virtual showrooms of 156 designers including Stella McCartney and Thom Browne. As part of the cooperation, Ordre expects to get access to Alibaba's data insights and increase its impact in the Chinese luxury market. In turn, Alibaba aims to strengthen its clout in the high-end fashion world.


New Order. Walmart has quietly launched Jetblack, a personal shopping membership service for affluent city moms. Headed by Rent the Runway co-founder Jenny Fleiss, the program originally dubbed Code Eight is beta-testing in Manhattan. Jetblack allows customers to order by texting product descriptions or images, and offers to deliver for free within 24 hours with free return pick-up directly from customer's homes.


Risky business. Due to increasing competition from cosmetics chains and e-tailers, Saks Fifth Avenue has moved the entire beauty department at its Manhattan flagship store from the ground level to the second story, ending a 94-year tradition. Starting today, the ground floor features handbags and leather goods, while beauty products and fragrances will be flanked by spa services and treatment rooms for a full beauty experience. Select Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys locations moved their beauty departments away from the ground floor a few years ago.

The shape of water. Size and fit issues continue to fuel the massive return rates in eCommerce. To provide solutions, merchants like Universal Standard, Everlane and J. Crew offer extended size charts (petite, regular, tall) as well as menus showing select products on a variety of different body types.

Driving demand. Following the successful introduction of Khloe Kardashian's The Good American jeans brand, which comes in sizes 00 to 24, Nordstrom has been looking to expand the size offering of all women's apparel. By 2020, the Seattle-based luxury retailer plans to only carry women's brands offering inclusive size ranges and has already added (press release) a broad range of shapely mannequins, some of which had to be custom-made.


Comeback crocodile. Strengthened by a focused product and distribution strategy - and a recent joint venture with Pentland, French sportswear label Lacoste now eyes expansion in the US. The most important growth segment is performance footwear, followed by leather goods. In addition to its own online store, Lacoste will also push eCommerce with partners like Macy's, Nordstrom and Amazon. To celebrate its 85th birthday, the brand brings back iconic items from each decade, starting with the 1930s.


He too! Tapestry Inc has ousted Stuart Weitzman's Creative Director, Giovanni Morelli, alleging behavior that fell short of company standards (press release). The search for a successor has already begun. Morelli, who worked for Loewe, Marc Jacobs and Chloé in the past, spearheaded the brand's foray into handbags and small leather goods during his one-year tenure.


End of an era. Following a slew of wage and harassment lawsuits, Andy Warhol's Interview magazine has been shut down yesterday. Both the web and the print editions of the famed Crystal Ball of Pop were unceremoniously closed, as the company now owned by billionaire Peter Brant filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy,


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