Welcome back to The Spin! Just a day after Amazon delighted investors with its hugely successful Prime Day event, eBay disappointed with a weak outlook for Q3. Top luxury brands, which used to snub at online retail, are now completely in on the digital game. Hermès also plays with alternative concepts and has just opened a pop-up shop in Manhattan. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


There will be robots. While Amazon’s workers were on strike in Germany and Spain, bemoaning (in Spanish) unacceptable work conditions, CEO Jeff Bezos’ wealth climbed $150 billion on Prime Day. Last year, several workers died in US-based warehouses, and ambulances have been called to Amazon centers in the UK about 600 times in the last three years. Amazon emphasizes its focus on work safety - and might just speed up its automation.



Forging ahead. Despite some glitches, Amazon’s 36-hour Prime Day (and a half) turned out to be the largest shopping event in the company’s 24-year history. Bestsellers included Instant Pots, LifeStraw water filters and 23andMe DNA tests. The online giant does not release specific numbers, but analysts estimate sales of about $3.4 billion. Fueled by consumers shopping frenzy, competitors Walmart and Target also registered strong online sales.

Lagging behind. Competitor eBay disappointed with a weak outlook on Q2 sales of $2.64 billion (about 25 percent less than Amazon made on Prime Day). To increase profitability, the company announced about 300 lay-offs in the San Francisco Bay area. Investors were not happy, sending the stock down 4.5 percent in after-hours trading.

Saturday Night Kid. US fashion retailer Gymboree, which emerged from bankruptcy reorganization last September, has launched a revamped, 80s inspired kids’ collection. To support its comeback, the company also created new websites for its three brands and rolled out an augmented reality app. Following the closure of more than 360 stores, the company now operates about 940 outlets.


AI 007. As the resale market for luxury goods explodes, some companies turn to Artificial Intelligence to combat fakes. The online retail platform for used sneakers, Goat (video), and the handbag authentication specialist Entrupy (video) have already developed anti-counterfeit algorithms. Based on large amounts of data from luxury brands, they are able to find the slightest inconsistencies.


Speeding up Céline. There are rumors (in Italian) about weekly product drops, limited-edition collections and and pop-up shops for Céline. According to industry insiders, new creative director Hedi Slimane will not only add menswear and couture, but also plans a series of timeless garments like jeans and outerwear specifically for pop-up stores. The initiatives are designed to grow (paywall) sales at Céline from €1 billion up to €3 billion over the next five years.

Skipping a beat. Things are also in flux at Bottega Veneta, where Céline's former director of ready-to-wear design, Daniel Lee, has been named creative director. This season, the brand will skip (paywall) its runway show in favor of a showroom presentation in Milan. Lee's catwalk debut in Milan is postponed to next February.


Goooaaalll! US sports magazine Bleacher Report launched its first fashion collection - and sold out. Six rappers including 21 Savage, Vic Mensa and Smokepurpp designed soccer jerseys and t-shirts inspired by their respective home teams. The limited edition Hip-Hop x World Cup capsule cleared in three days.


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