Hello ,

Happy Tuesday and welcome back to The Spin! Yesterday, Amazon's much hyped Prime Day had a bumpy start, when access to its landing place continued to fail. We also tell you, which Norwegian brand is suing Virgil Abloh's Off-White label, and which retailer's brilliant marketing idea turned into a mob scene. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Prime obstacles. Amazon’s much hyped Prime Day was off to a bumpy start. For the first hours, access to its landing place was blocked, prompting several news outlets to publish ways to get around the error. The issues also affected the online giant's voice assistants and its AWS management console. No word yet, if customers defected to competitors like Walmart or Target, who are also offering big sales around this time.



Return of the middleman. Nordstrom has added several online brands that never sold wholesale before, including Bonobos and Everlane. Since digitally native labels operate on different calculations than traditional wholesale brands, Nordstrom modified its transactional business model to a strategic one with a higher degree of transparency regarding data, product development and visual presentation.

Movin' on up. US value retailer Five Below is on track to open 125 stores in 2018. A 11,000 sq.ft. NY flagship on Fifth Avenue, just north of 42nd Street near H&M and Zara, is scheduled to open in November. The company, which offers items priced $5 or below, takes advantage of plummeting retail rents in the area, which dropped 18.2 percent during Q2, but might get hit by Trump's new tariffs on Chinese imports.


Show time! Six new fashion documentaries will keep fashionistas on the edge of their seats this spring and summer. Among the noteworthy films is the acclaimed profile of Alexander McQueen, simply titled McQueen (trailer), as well as Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist (trailer), featuring Vivienne Westwood, and Love, Cecil about the life of photographer and costume designer Cecil Beaton.


Tire marks. Helly Hansen, which was recently acquired by Canadian Tire, has filed a lawsuit against Off-White for infringing on its trademarked HH stripe logo. According to the Norwegian sportswear brand, Virgil Abloh’s Off-White label is using a stripe design that is confusingly similar to Helly Hansen’s with the intent to create a false suggestion of an affiliation between Off-White and Helly Hansen where none exits.

Check mate. British heritage brand Burberry, which currently collaborates with NY-based Opening Ceremony, has destroyed about $38 million worth of merchandise in 2018, up from about $25 million in 2015. According to its annual report, the increase is a result of the ongoing re-branding efforts under new CEO Marco Gobbetti and designer Riccardo Tisci. It also includes a larger amount of cosmetics following the sale (press release) of Burberry’s beauty line to Coty in October 2017.

Losing Ivanka. Due to poor performance, Canadian retailer Hudson’s Bay will cease selling Ivanka Trump merchandise both online and in its 90 Canadian stores this fall. Parent HBC, which also owns Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, apparently notified the brand in late 2017. The label has been phased out by several US retailers including Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, while Saks Off Fifth has minimized its offer to footwear, much of which is currently in clearance.


Build-A-Blunder. To drive traffic, Build-A-Bear launched the “Pay Your Age Day” in North America and Britain, offering Bonus Club members steep discounts on their DIY stuffed animals. The deal attracted long lines, and crowds became so unruly that the company had to shut down the event - angering hundreds of customers. Pay Your Age is now restricted to the Birthday Treat Bear, which is sold for a person’s age in dollars during their birthday month.


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