Welcome back to The Spin! As bankrupt House of Fraser is leaving suppliers counting the costs, luxury e-tailers continue to attract investors. On the tech front, a new material might help reveal the one-time use of garments - giving retailers a means to refuse returns. Later this year, Mickey Mouse is going to celebrate his 90th birthday at an immersive pop-up event in New York. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Fetching funds. British luxe platform Farfetch just announced plans for a massive IPO on New York Stock exchange. Meanwhile, digital luxury retailer Threads Styling (which is also based in London) raised $20 million to further expand its fashion business which sells exclusively through messaging services like WhatsApp, WeChat and Snapchat.



Existential threat. Following Donald Trump’s proposed tariff hike on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, US fashion companies attend (paywall) USTR hearings in Washington to negotiate exemptions. Some categories like synthetic handbags could see tariffs rise from 20 to 45 percent, posing an existential threat to their makers. In the next six days, the USTR will hear about 360 cases as well as testimony from the NRF and the AAFA.


Call to order. The new EU-DSGVO (in German) data protection rules require retailers to also inform customers about the use of their payment card data. Until details are finalized, German experts recommend (paywall; in German) to post stickers and info leaflets at the POS. As the BecN works on a uniform standard, tech provider Höltl has compiled a best-practice document. For now, legal actions seem unlikely, as it is still unclear if retailers, banks or payment providers are responsible.

Hashtag moments. Fueled by the Outfit of the Day movement, many customers are accelerating their fashion purchases - and returns! Millions of hot outfits are often worn just once for their #ootd post on social media - tags conveniently hidden from sight - then returned (paywall; in German) for a refund...


Wet giveaway! About two-thirds of online shoppers return worn clothes. To help marketers fight that practice, German lingerie retailer Melanie Schmitz-Brackmann has developed (paywall; in German) a sensory foil quite similar to a litmus test. Equipped with receptors, the material can signal if sweat or moisture touched the garment. Such marks could then be indicators for brands or retailers not to accept returns.

Store-tech snobs. As retailers continue to ramp up their tech investments, a study by Yougov reveals that 20 percent of affluent US consumers do not utilize any technology at physical stores. Instead of using their phones for research or payment, they accept prices, join check-out lanes and pay with cash or credit card - giving brick-and-mortar retailers opportunities for service improvements.


Collateral damage. In response to House of Fraser’s collapse into administration, the stock of British accessories label Mulberry fell 30 percent on Monday morning. According to the luxury handbag maker, which records about 70 percent of sales in the UK, the fall of the department store group will cost it about £3 million in the first half of 2018/2019. Over 1,000 suppliers will not receive payments owed by HoF, including Tommy Hilfiger, Barbour and Pretty Green.


Exit through the gift shop. Mickey Mouse is going to celebrate his 90th birthday at a massive pop-up in New York City. Featuring interactive experiences and works by artists like Kenny Scharf and Amanda Ross-Ho, the immersive experience at 60 Tenth Avenue is going to honor the iconic cartoon character's influence on art and pop culture. Admission is $38, while the gift shop is open to the public. November 8 to February 10.


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