Nov
 15
 2018



Caroline

Hello,

Welcome back to this new edition of The Spin. Today's issue is a mixed bag of good and bad news. On the bad side, British House of Fraser is threatening to close more stores, but on the good side, American department store Macy's is doing much better than before, after embracing some high tech innovations. Levi Strauss seems also stronger. The denim specialist is growing again and thinking about an IPO. On another front, Victoria's Secret is losing its head and Ralph Lauren is to become a British knight. Enjoy the read. Best, Caroline.



markets

Out of touch. Victoria's Secret, the leading lingerie retailer in America is losing its head: Jan Singer is stepping down, a few days before its parent company, L Brands is set to report quarterly earnings. In August already, Denise Landman, CEO of the Pink brand, a division of Victoria's Secret, had announced her retirement. Both executives had supported an out of touch overtly seductive image of the company. But young women don't fancy (paywall) the brightly colored push up bras, they prefer comfort and fit.


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Renaissance. The American department store Macy's is enjoying (paywall) a renaissance moment. For its third quarter, the company had just announced a healthy 3,1% rise of same store sales and a net income more than doubled to $62 million. Macy's is finally cashing in on its high tech innovations, such as selling via a mobile app. Macy's is set to reach $1 billion in mobile sales this year. The retailer doesn't stop experimenting: it is now testing a smaller neighborhood concept, by which leftover space becoming a mini fulfillment center.



IPO time. Levi Strauss could once again plan for an IPO. According to American media, the company would go public early next year to raise $600 to $800 million, with the help of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. The group is currently held by the descendants of Levi Strauss who took the company private when its sales began to decline. But with the current CEO Chip Bergh at the helm, the denim expert is growing. With Levi Strauss selling (paywall) a Tee shirt every second, it is a good time to revisit Wall Street.





retail

More closures. Four more English House of Fraser stores will go dark in early 2019. The new owner, billionaire Mike Ashley of Sports Direct, failed to agree on new lower rent deals with the landlord Intu. This company is considering non traditional shopping center uses. Mike Ashley urges other landlords to be more proactive so as to save stores and jobs. So far, there are 22 House of Fraser stores that have been saved from closure.



Best streets. Hong Kong's Causeway Bay is the most expansive commercial street, according to Cushman and Wakefield's annual main streets report. Its average rent reaches €24,606 per square meter. New York's 5th avenue ranks number 2 and the number 3 New Bond Street in London can still brag that it is the most expensive...in Europe. This year, Paris' Avenue des Champs Élysées falls to number 4 with a relative bargain rental at €13,992 per square meter.





people

Sir Ralph. Ralph Lauren, the prince of sportswear will finally get a proper title. Queen Elizabeth II will make him next year an honorary knight commander of the most excellent order of the British Empire. Princess Diana, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, have all worn Ralph Lauren, but it's his philanthropic efforts that the queen is recognizing. Ronald Reagan, Michael Bloomberg and Steven Spielberg were already knighted, but Ralph Lauren is the first American designer to join the club.



Musical chairs. Lucas Ossendrijver, the men's designer at Lanvin is (paywall) on his way out. His departure is linked to sweeping changes brought on by the new owner of the French studio, Fosun International. Lucas Ossendrijver is reknown for reinventing men's wear with a youthful approach, blending technical and activewear influences in his design. Bruno Siatelli, former head of men's wear at Loewe, could replace (in Italian) him.



Heading North. VF Corp has appointed Jan Van Leeuwen as the boss of The North Face in Europe. The Dutch executive, member of the VF Corp family since 2011, was previously working for its sister brand Vans. His new mission at The North Face is to build "on 11 consecutive quarters of double digit growth in the region". Prior to joining VF Corp, Jan Van Leeuwen built his career at Nike, O' Neill and Sole Technology. The avid runner and skier is naturally thrilled to join North Face.







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