Welcome back to a new edition of The Spin. A retail revolution is in the air. In Germany, 2 giant department stores are getting hitched. In America, J Crew's Mercantile tries to sell on Amazon. Meanwhile, in England Burberry adjusts its message to young ethical-minded customers. That company will no longer burn its unsold inventory. Selling is not easy, but a good concept store such as the new 10 Corso Como in New York is willing to take up the challenge. Enjoy the read. All the Best, Caroline.


Transatlantic alliance. German department stores Kaufhof and Karstadt are getting married (in German). Canadian Hudson's Bay, the owner of Kaufhof, has agreed to a joint venture with Austrian Signa Holding, the parent company of Karstadt. Signa will own 51% of the new business and Karstadt boss, Stephan Fanderl will be in charge. Hudson's Bay will get close to €1 billion in the transaction while 5000 jobs are at risk of being cut at Kaufhof. These 2 major chains are merging to take on the booming online retail.


Fire extinguished... British Burberry will immediately cease to burn unsold goods. The company revealed (paywall) in its last annual report that it had burned $37 million of clothing and cosmetics, but that strategy doesn't sit well (paywall) with ethically and environmentally conscious young shoppers. Activists from Detox my fashion campaign denounced the "lack of respect for the hard work and natural resources that are used to make" items. To protect its image, Burberry had to put out the fire.

...fur alert. The British company decided that it was also time to ban fur from its collection. Several other brands have embraced the growing ethical trend but Prada is still resisting the call from grassroots campaigns. The Fur Free Alliance, a group of 40 animal protection organizations, is doubling down (paywall) on its efforts to convince Prada. Its supporters are using social media, phone calls and emails to make their point.


Temptation. J Crew's Mercantile is arriving on Amazon in the autumn. The value label offers jackets, denim, outerwear...under $300. Mickey Drexler, the former CEO of J Crew thought it was too risky to sell on Amazon because the e-commerce giant uses data from the brands sold on its website in order to develop its own versions of best sellers. Nevertheless, the retailer limits its exposure to Mercantile, keeping some kind of protection around J Crew...and Amazon accounts (paywall) for half the US e-commerce market.

Como vita. Milan's 10 Corso Como, the original concept store, is planting its flag on South Street Seaport in time for New York Fashion Week. Carla Sozzani, the advocate for slow shopping and engaging life created a restaurant in the center of the 28 000 square ft store. There, Maison Margiela, Prada, Stella Mc Cartney...mingle with candles, art books and jewelry. It's about time for New York to join the 10 Corso Como circle. Seoul, Beijing and Shanghai already enjoy the perks of Milan's favorite boutique.

Home delivery. Japanese GU, the trendier sister of Uniqlo, will test (paywall) a new retail concept in Tokyo in November. The 6400 square ft store will link online and offline experience. Customers will be able to touch and feel the whole men and women collections in store but they will have to purchase their items online. GU will then deliver the products to their home. That idea is already behind Bonobos concept. The Walmart subsidiary lets men try on the collection in store and send their selection at home.


Copenhagen too. Cecilie Thorsmark will become CEO of Copenhagen Fashion Week (CFW) in November, replacing Camilla Frank. The Copenhagen Business School alumni was (in French) the communication director for Global Fashion Agenda, the Danish forum on sustainability. She intends to pursue her sustainable agenda in her new role. She will also try to develop the international appeal of CFW. The next season of CFW will take place on January 29-February 1.


Revolution at the door. A new survey from PwC says that 84% of executives have blockchain initiatives in progress but only 10% are running a pilot and 7% have paused their efforts. The distributed ledger technology has the potential to revolutionize how business is done for example in vendor payments or digital shopping. Nevertheless, the 600 executives surveyed in 15 countries see a major obstacle: the lack of trust among users.


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