Dec
 03
 2018



Caroline

Hello,

Welcome back to this new edition of The Spin. The week begins with positive news. The new round of American tariffs that should have impacted Chinese imports in January is on hold. In France, on the other hand, the yellow vests are not holding their punch. Week-end demonstrations are hurting the retail industry. In other parts of the world, it is business as usual: Callaway Golf is buying German Jack Wolfskin, Guess is preparing to settle with the European Anti Trust Commission. Enjoy the read. Best, Caroline.



markets

Truce. Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping agreed (paywall) to halt the imposition of new tariffs in January during 90 days. The two leaders who met at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires made a deal: put on hold the increases on $200 billion of Chinese imports in America, while negotiating. The American handbag industry which feared a 25% rise on tariffs is relieved. Stock exchanges around the world should rally upon learning of the ceasefire.


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Putt's expansion. Californian company Callaway Golf is buying Jack Wolfskin, a German active and outdoor wear manufacturer for about $476 million. Callaway Golf, which last year recorded $1.049 billion net sales, underscores the "potential for significant distribution synergies and revenue diversification". The American company, known for its golf clubs and balls, counts on Jack Wolfskin to expand into the outdoor lifestyle. The German group is (paywall) a big player in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and China.


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Pay the fine. When Guess announced its third quarter results, last week, Europe was its best market. CEO Victor Herrero emphasized that European retail comps shot 8% higher. This was the 13th consecutive quarter of positive comps. Nevertheless, to enjoy its expansion, Guess will have to settle with the European Anti trust Commission, which doesn't want the company to restrict retailers from selling cross border to consumers in the single EU market. A remorseful Guess is ready to pay a €37 million fine.





retail

Yellow fever. French department stores, Les Galeries Lafayette and Le Printemps had to evacuate (paywall) shoppers on Saturday during the third round of violent clashes between the "yellow vests" and the police. Les gilets jaunes, a/k/a the "yellow vests" protest against gas taxes, declining living standards, the privileges of the ultra riches...These demonstrations are happening at the worst time for retailers, who saw crucial holiday sales fall 18% one week ago. France weighs (paywall) state of emergency.





brands

Good parenting. Lately, Emanuel Chirico, CEO of PVH corp, isn't liking the Calvin Klein strategy. "We went too far, too fast on both fashion and price" said the executive, when announcing last week a meager 2% rise in the subsidiary's revenue for the third quarter. By comparison, the "good" subsidiary Tommy Hilfiger increased 11%. The parent company, PVH is already correcting its fashion misstep by announcing a more commercially focused Calvin Klein 205W39NYC jean line in 2019.



Time for jewels. Gucci will launch (paywall) a jewelry collection next summer. The 200 pieces line, chock full of colored stones, as designed by Alessandro Michele will be made in Italy. Jewelry is the new priority of Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman of Kering, Gucci's parent company. After transforming Kering into a luxury empire and developing its fashion and leather work, the chairman is ready (in French) for a new challenge. Notwithstanding this, Gucci will be at first his only fashion brand experimenting with jems.





people

The clock is ticking. David Levin, CEO of Destination XL Group, the big and tall menswear retailer in America is still searching (paywall) for his replacement. In March, the 66 year old executive announced his impending retirement. He was at the helm of the company for more than 18 years, having revamped a tired bricks and mortar business into a fresh omnichannel retailer...it was time to go. But good candidates are hard to find, so David Levin will continue as interim CEO until next June, if necessary.





last

Ugly view. Christmas is fast approaching. It is this time of the year, when we reminisce about uncle Bob's ugly sweater with deer antlers. Fortunately, there is no need this year to wax nostalgic, because stores have a fresh and increasing supply of these ugly sweaters. In 2018, customers can buy electrified outfits that light up a room, or sweaters adorned with wine bottle holders on the front. Too bland? Try the sweater for two, to share with the boyfriend.







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