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Welcome back to The Spin! As Flipkart is taking on Amazon India, House of Fraser fights for survival following the loss of a potential investor. Over in California, a shoe company succeeded in replacing EVA with sugarcane-derived SweetFoam. Enjoy the read and don't forget to share! Best, Ulrike


Plus vs Prime. India’s eCommerce giant Flipkart, which is currently in the process of being acquired by Walmart, has just unveiled Flipkart Plus. With free deliveries and early access to sales, the no-fee membership program resembles Amazon’s Prime, which has been available in India since 2016. But contrary to Prime, customers' transactions are rewarded with digital Plus Coins which can be converted to merchandise, travel and other rewards. Flipkart Plus launches August 15.


Top seller. Japanese fashion chain Uniqlo has installed a touchscreen vending machine at San Francisco International Airport. The Uniqlo To-Go kiosk sells $50 down and fleece vests which are extremely popular (paywall) with venture capitalists. Although its being relentlessly mocked, it still brings in about $10,000 in monthly sales.


Dead deal. After its stock tanked, Chinese investor C.Banner had to pull out of a planned rescue deal for House of Fraser, putting the future of the British retailer on the line. The original plan was for C.Banner to take a 51 percent stake, close 31 of 59 House of Fraser stores and eliminate about 6,000 jobs. Now, HoF’s only chance for survival is a potential merger with rivaling retailer, Debenham’s, which has just been downgraded as well.


Prada's progress. For the first half of the year, the Italian luxury brand reported a 3 percent increase in revenue and an 11 percent rise in net profits. Growth was achieved across all markets, brands and products, with new sneakers and leather goods as well as pop-ups and partnerships driving the turnaround.

Good enough to eat. Californian footwear label Allbirds has developed sugarcane-derived SweetFoam to replace petroleum-based EVA typically used in shoe soles. Describing it as the first environmentally friendly material for soles, the company plans to make the technology available to the entire footwear industry. To fund expansion, the company has secured an undisclosed investment from actor Leonardo di Caprio.

Vans Gogh. On August 3, VFC-owned streetwear brand Vans and Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum are launching a limited-edition line inspired by the Dutch artist’s masterpieces. Priced $40 to $140, the Vans x Van Gogh Museum collection (video) is designed to bring the artist’s work to a new audience, with proceeds used to preserve his legacy. Available at and


War to wear. Tactical vests by Alyx, flak jackets by Heron Preston and gun holster-style bags by Louis Vuitton - it looks like fashion is sending us to war. The trend is further supported by the fact that Alyx’s “Fuck War” T-shirts did not move as expected and are already marked down 50 percent.


The Vanishing. Amidst a tax evasion investigation, Chinese film star and high-level influencer Fan Bingbing, who starred in Iron Man 3, has disappeared from public view. She was last seen on July 1 and has not engaged on social media since July 23. The scandal is putting Western luxury companies like Montblanc, De Beers and Guerlain, who have appointed her brand ambassador, as well as collaborators like Louis Vuitton and Valentino, in an awkward position as fans are begging for a sign.


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