Nov
 06
 2018



Ulrike

Hello ,

Welcome back to The Spin! As retailers gear up for the holiday season, Amazon faces a backlash in Saudi Arabia. The revolving doors at retail and brands continue with departures at Macy’s and Carven and news about a new Cardi B deal. We also reveal, which retailer wants to help Germans spend about 12 billion D-Marks still laying around their homes. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike



retail

Jingle bells. To compete with Target, Amazon will extend free shipping to all its customers on all purchases during the holidays. Usually this perk is reserved for the online giant’s Prime members, who pay $119 annually for services including shipping and video. Non-members normally get free shipping on orders of over $25.





markets

Angry appeal. In Saudi Arabia, many are furious at Jeff Bezos' Washington Post for its coverage of the country after Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. The Washington Post writer was killed at a Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, causing a slump (paywall) in Saudi business. Critics are now calling for a boycott of Amazon and its subsidiary, Souq.com, even posting instructions for the closure of Amazon accounts on social media.



Under pressure. Increasing competition from Vietnam (paywall), Cambodia and Africa threatens Bangladesh’s garment industry, which aims to hold its position as second-largest clothing exporter behind China. To increase production speed and accuracy as well as curb labor costs, manufacturers continue to invest in automation. As smaller companies consolidate, fewer factories now look to expand internationally.





brands

Making money moves. Singer Cardi B, who refers to her Louboutins as bloody shoes (video) has just signed a deal with US sports company Reebok. In addition to promoting the Adidas-owned brand’s Aztek shoe and clothing line, she is also expected to co-design products for the label.





tech

Over the borderline. To bridge content and commerce, China's controversial WeChat platform offers mini-programs helping companies like Dunhill and JD to build sub-apps. But as the platform's dominance is declining, some brands re-evaluate their strategy while others opt to forgo WeChat stores altogether to work with the growing number of cross-border platforms like VIP.com.





people

New direction. Jeff Kantor, Macy's chief merchandising officer since September 2017, plans to retire April 16, 2019. The 59-year-old held various positions at the retailer and its previous companies for 36 years. Both Kantor and his predecessor as CMO, current CEO Jeff Gennette, did not create the outstanding assortments needed in today’s competitive retail environment. The department store chain is currently searching a successor.



Revolving door. Following last month’s sale of Carven to Shanghai-based Icicle Fashion Group, creative director Serge Ruffieux is leaving the French couture label. He had joined the company in 2017, following stints at Sonia Rykiel and Christian Dior. After filing for bankruptcy protection in May, Carven had been on the block.





last

Secret stash. According to estimates (in German), there are still about DM12 billion left in German homes. To spare customers the way to the Bundesbank, retail chain C&A will accept (paywall; in German) payment in D-Mark in its German branches again. The company already ran this program between 2003 and 2017, taking in the value of about €25.5 million in the country’s pre-Euro currency.







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