Welcome back to The Spin! Even if they come to a merger agreement for their Kaufhof and Karstadt divisions, the German Anti-Monopoly Office might test HBC's and Signa's patience with a thorough review. Over in the US, Walmart is working on its own online-only fashion brand, as critics point out privacy issues with the rapidly growing social payment platform, Venmo. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Hurry up and wait. As negotiations for a merger between HBC’s Galeria Kaufhof and Signa-owned Karstadt go into high gear, the German Anti-Monopoly Office is preparing (in German) for an extensive and complex review. In addition to individual product categories, it will also check conditions in regional markets. This could extend (paywall; in German) the process by up to nine months. Meanwhile, both retailers are on tenterhooks for cost saving synergies to be implemented.

Closing time. Struggling under mountains of debt, two more US retailers have filed for bankruptcy protection. In addition to the iconic San Francisco-based department store Gump’s, which is closing after 157 years, National Stores has filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. As part of the restructuring, 74 of its 344 stores will be closed (press release).

Not good enough. For Q2, German online retailer Zalando reported a 21 percent jump in revenues and an 8 percent increase in net income, fueled (paywall; in German) by strong growth in the off-price segment. Still, due to a trimmed outlook, investors sent the stock down almost 6 percent on Tuesday.


Show me what you buy... PayPal’s social payment service Venmo, which has just been added to the A&F and Hollister apps, has seen transaction value rise 78 percent to $14.2 billion in Q2. In addition to mobile payments, Venmo can be used to split bills among friends, reveal purchases to others and donate money, giving deep insight into users' psyche and open them to fraud - which is why it is now raising concerns (paywall).


Nike follows Adidas. Nike is moving its German headquarters to Berlin. The German capital is one of the twelve key cities that Nike has defined (press release) as major growth engines. It is also on the home turf of its arch rival, Adidas, which has not included Berlin in its own megacities strategy. 70 Nike employees have already moved (paywall; in German) to the new location, another 110 are supposed to follow by summer 2019.

Answer to Everlane. US discounter Walmart Stores is working on an affordable minimalist fashion brand, that will only be available online. The yet-to-be named label is being developed by designer Dwight Fenton of Walmart’s recently acquired Bonobos. According to press reports (paywall), the new line could be a direct competitor to Everlane.

Buy't at the Museum. With its Eckhaus Latta: Possessed installation, New York's Whitney Museum combines the lofty fashion-meets-art concept with mundane commerce. It's the Whitney’s first fashion exhibition in 20 years, and features a limited-edition Eckhaus Latta collection that visitors can actually try on, photograph and buy. Sold items will not be replaced, so that the space should slowly empty out until the show ends October 8th.


Unforgiving calendar. This season, New York Fashion Week (September 6-12) will coincide with the Rosh Hashanah celebration of the Jewish New Year, which is observed from sundown on September 9 until the 11th, posing a problem for observing Jewish attendees. Some of the shows in direct conflict with the holiday are (paywall) Rodarte, Prabal Gurung, Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta and Gabriela Hearst. Most affected brands will offer showroom presentations and/or online streaming of their shows.


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