Welcome back to The Spin! Today we look at a slew of financial news. While Under Armour worries analysts for its debt load and spending, rival Puma missed out on the chunky sneaker trend. Tech news were mixed, with Amazon reporting record earnings of $2.5 billion, as Facebook took the biggest tumble ever recorded on Wall Street. We also tell you, which brand tracks its customers with embedded microchips. Enjoy the read - and your weekend! Best, Ulrike


Alexander the Great. As Kering readies itself for a slow-down at its red-hot Gucci label, which just recorded a 40 percent Q2 sales increase, Alexander McQueen is being prepared for the next star position in the group’s stable. To prepare the fast growing brand (press release) for stardom, Kering is currently creating (earnings call) the foundation - as it did for Saint Laurent and Balenciaga.

Numbers game. Following a dismal 2017, Under Armour’s Q2 revenues have exceeded expectations. Although some analysts are concerned about the company’s spending and debt load, investors sent the stock of the Baltimore-based sports company up 5 percent. Over at Puma, shares tumbled as the Herzogenaurach-based athletics giant's earnings matched guidance.


Prime profits. Amazon reported record net earnings of $2.5 billion, sending its stock back up 3 percent despite lower than expected Q2 revenues. The tech giant’s retail division recorded (paywall) $47 billion in revenue and a net income of $240 million, while its AWS web services grew 49 percent to $6.1 billion. Prime membership remained constant through the recent price hike.

Worst day ever. On the other hand, Facebook’s stock dropped 19 percent, wiping out about $120 billion in market capitalization in the largest drop ever recorded on Wall Street. Although the social network reported growth in revenues and profit, the company was downgraded due to a lowered forecast, declining user counts in Europe, and worries about the potential of Instagram Stories. Other tech stocks followed suit, threatening the booming sector.


Small is the answer. As vacant US department stores are repurposed (paywall) as co-working spaces, sports rinks, and even homeless shelters, innovative retailers continue to experiment with smaller store sizes. Target, Nordstrom and Sephora and Ikea are the new pioneers. Contrary to Saks Fifth Avenue’s failed Main Street concept (paywall) from 1998, which was a reduced version of the original, today’s smaller boxes intelligently merge on- and offline for optimal customer satisfaction.


Golden Goop. Gwyneth Paltrow’s controversial wellness brand Goop, which made headlines for promoting vagina steamings and psychic vampire repellents, has grown into a $250 million business. At a lecture at Harvard Business School, the actress turned business women explained her strategy. Aiming to serve the whole human - mind, body and soul -, the company offers a flood of wellness items like crystals, oils and hormone-restoring chocolate as well as a 38-piece G.Label with dresses, tops and trendy palazzo pants.


New tricks. Once a golden ticket for women, retail jobs are slowly disappearing. According to the British Retail Consortium, in the UK alone nearly half a million people are vulnerable to retail job losses, 70 percent of them female. The situation is similar in other countries. Some find a new livelihood in online retail, which requires a new set of skills, or in night work, which has increased due to changing shopping habits.


Keeping tabs. PVH-owned Tommy Hilfiger is launching a jeans wear line with embedded smart chips that record wear patterns and reward customers for product usage with goodies like discounts, show and concert tickets. The Tommy Jeans Xplore collection features 23 items equipped with Awear Solution’s smart tags that connect to an Xplore app. Critics question its value for consumers and voice privacy concerns.


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