Todays edition of The Spin might be called "The Clairvoyant Issue." Several new studies and reports have been released that cover future economic growth, what forces will influence the luxury sector in the years ahead and how brands can best court Millennials. In addition, a major retail CEO is out of a job and an American town is continuing its unique program of donating clothes to the poor by decking out its local statues in them. Enjoy the read and feel free to share it. Best, Christopher


Crystal balling. With the arrival of 2019 just a few more weeks away, experts are releasing economic predictions for the year ahead and they are generally positive. The International Money Fund says the global economy will grow by 3.7 percent in 2019 – a flat performance but still an increase. And a new study (press release) by the Conference Board says spurred by a strong performance by the US, that growth will continue at least through the first half of the year and then probably slow a bit. It believes Europe's GDP growth for 2019 will be 1.9 percent while China's will rise by 3.8 percent.


Looking at luxury. The New York Times' International Luxury Conference concluded its two-day run in Hong Kong yesterday. The keynote speech was given by Qiu Yafu, the chairman of Ruyi Fashion Holding Group, the Chinese conglomerate that now owns brands such as Bally and Sandro. The takeaways from his talk were that luxury brands will become seasonless, personal customization will rule and the sharing economy will be increasingly important to the sector. Collaborations also will continue to drive luxury-brand sales.

Meet the Millennials. A just released study (press release) by investment bank Roth Capital Partners is providing brands with insight on how to best market themselves to Millennials. After surveying 2,500 respondents, the firm surprisingly discovered that 57 percent of this young generation prefer making purchases in a brick-and-mortar store after they have researched the product online. Among the specific brands named, Gucci is their favorite luxury label and their top three footwear companies are Nike, Adidas and Vans.

Turning off the TV. Brands such as Burberry (video) are releasing their annual holiday campaigns but they are not airing them on traditional broadcast channels as much as they used to. TV ad campaign budgets in the UK are expected to drop by as much as £44 million this holiday season, despite an expected all-time high in overall advertising spending for the period. In contrast to TV, advertising spending on digital channels in the UK will increase by nearly 12 percent during Christmastime.

Dior does MePa. To promote the launch of its US website two weeks from today, Dior has just opened (paywall) a pop-up store in Manhattan's once red-hot Meatpacking District. The shop (in Italian) stocks the complete Dior collections for men, women and children and will spotlight the collaboration with Dior's men's creative director Kim Jones and the artist Kaws. It will be open for four months.


Farewell, Flipkart. Benny Bansal, the CEO and co-founder of Flipkart, India's largest e-commerce site, resigned yesterday after allegations surfaced accusing him of "serious personal misconduct." He denied the charges but investigators did conclude that he had "lapses in judgment." The move is the latest Indian hiccup for Walmart, which acquired a majority stake in Flipkart for $16 billion in May 2018.


Verified. Amazon finally confirmed the leaks and rumors yesterday and made the official announcement that it has chosen Long Island City, NYC and Crystal City, Virginia as the two sites of its second US headquarters. In addition, it said it would open an operations hub in Nashville that will create 5,000 jobs. However, the decisions did not please everyone and sparked some backlash from people in both the winning cities and those that did not make the cut.


Monumental generosity. Starting tomorrow the residents of Rapid City, South Dakota are being allowed – and encouraged to – dress the many statues of US presidents that dot the streets of the city's downtown with warm winter clothes and accessories. This effective and successful charitable program, now in its fourth year, allows the less fortunate in need of winter apparel to simply take it off the artworks and keep it – free of charge.


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