Hello ,

Welcome to a new edition of The Spin. Today Ivanka Trump and her namesake brand continue to stir up controversy and a declining number of truck drivers in the US is causing retail prices to rise there. There's also news from India and Australia as a British designer clarifies her feelings about the royal wedding gown. Enjoy the read and feel free to share it. Best, Christopher


Troublesome trademarks. Critics are crying conflict of interest after learning that the Chinese government has granted seven new trademarks to Ivanka Trump in the last month, for a grand total of 13 it has registered to her eponymous lifestyle brand in the last three months. They trademarks are potentially problematic as the Trump administration is in continual negotiations with China on numerous trade issues. As a federal employee, Trump and her husband Jared Kushner are barred from participating in governmental matters in which they have a financial interest.

A dearth of drivers. A shortage of truck drivers in the United States is hitting "crisis level" this year and resulting in higher retail prices and delivery charges. Said to be one of the main reasons Amazon Prime recently raised its membership fee, the problem is only growing because demand is rising but new drivers are not training for the jobs for fear that they will eventually be replaced by driverless vehicles.


Battling the buyout. The Conference of All India Traders, or CAIT, one of India's largest trader groups, has filed a formal objection with the government's anti-trust regulators to prevent Walmart's acquisition of a 77 percent stake in e-commerce company Flipkart for $16 billion. The group claims that the deal will create unfair competition but experts say that the petition is not at all likely to stop the acquisition.

Delivery Down Under. The competition for online customers and their dollars is heating up in Australia between Amazon and its rival eBay. The latter will launch its eBay Plus there next month, a paid membership service similar to Amazon Prime that will offer unlimited deliveries and returns on new items. Australia will be the second market to get eBay Plus as it was first launched in Germany in 2015. Amazon Prime is not yet available in Australia.

Service with a (gritted) smile. Hit hard by the arrival of Amazon and other online retailers in Australia, brick-and-mortar department store Myer is attempting to improve its negatively reviewed customer service by telling employees of its concession brands such as Sunglass Hut that they are expected to assist customers even if they are not shopping for that brand. The letter sent to the employees has prompted a backlash from them just as the store launches its annual mid-season sale.


Prada promo. Prada is celebrating its signature nylon fabric in a new video series (paywall) that has just launched on its website and social media. Called "Nylon Farm" (in Italian) the four films were shot at the brand's industrial headquarters in Tuscany and feature models with sci-fi "nylon sheep." The remaining three episodes will be released June 1 to 9.


Not a knockoff. After inciting the ire of the public and fashion insiders alike by allegedly claiming that Clare Waight Keller's Givenchy wedding dress for Meghan Markle looked identical to one of her designs, British designer Emilia Wickstead has officially back-pedalled. She released a statement over the weekend stating that she thought the bride looked beautiful and that she did not believe the dress copied one of her designs. Air officially cleared....


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