Welcome back to this new edition of The Spin. Les gilets jaunes again demonstrated this week-end in France, forcing the retailers to close their shops. In other news, China is flexing its muscles: domestic sports expert Anta is buying Finland's Amer and the luxury Shanghai Tang is back in a Chinese fund's portfolio. In England, the founder of Ted Baker is taking a leave of absence...him too. Enjoy the read. Best, Caroline.


Yellow week-end. The fourth weekend of demonstrations in France by Les gilets jaunes had a profound impact on the retail sector, especially in Paris where thousands of stores erected barricades to protect their windows. Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, Le Bon Marche, LVMH and Kering boutiques were all closed (paywall). The Federation du Commerce et de la Distribution estimates the cost for the retail sector in lost business since the beginning of the Yellow vests' protests to be €1 billion.



Chinese expansion. Anta, the Chinese biggest athletic apparel producer, is leading a group of investors offering (paywall) €4.7 billion in cash to acquire Finland's Amer Sports Oyj . The portfolio of Amer, full of tennis, ski, outdoor equipment and apparel should attract wealthy middle class Chinese consumers. Anta is relying on the upcoming Olympic games in Tokyo (2020) and Beijing (2022) to popularize the new brands. The tentative deal could close during the second quarter of 2019.

Chinese return. The first modern Chinese luxury brand Shanghai Tang is again changing (in Italian) ownership, one year after the Swiss group, Richemont sold it to Italian Alessandro Bastagli and Hong Kong fund Cassia Investments. The new Chinese owner Luna Capital is asking creative director Massimiliano Giormetti to resign and is opening an online store on the domestic e-commerce platform Shanghai Tang which was created by David Tang makes about €40 million in sales annually.

Chinese sustainability. French Kering, in partnership with Silicon Valley accelerator Plug and Play is launching a sustainability award in China. Interested start-ups have (paywall) until August 2019 to submit their ideas in alternative raw materials, green supply chain innovations and circular economy proposals. The top prize is $100 000. Kering's leaders want to reduce their environmental footprint by 40% by 2025, half of which should come from disruptive innovations.


Hugging crisis. Ted Baker's founder, Ray Kelvin is taking a leave of absence. Lindsay Page, the COO of the British company, has been designated acting chief executive. This unfolding story happened a few days after an online petition accused Ray Kelvin of inappropriate behavior such as forced hugging. Ted Baker's board has appointed a law firm to conduct an independent investigation of old and new "serious allegations" that have recently emerged against the 544 stores' founder and another executive.


Members only. Canadian Lululemon, fired up by its double figures's sales growth, is testing a membership program in Edmonton that offers new benefits to its adoring followers. For an annual fee of $128, members get pants tha are specially designed for the program. They also have access to sweat classes, are invited to curated events and benefit from free shipping on e-commerce orders. This new experiential trend is similarly tested by giant competitor Nike at the House of innovation in New York.

The other Calvin. "I wish I could find another Calvin Klein for long term growth". That's what Morris Goldfarb, chairman of GIII said to Wall Street analysts, when he was presenting its third quarter earnings. PVH, the parent company of Calvin Klein is disappointed (paywall) in Calvin Klein jeans. According to Manny Chirico, PVH chairman, the jeans are a "fashion miss". Nevertheless the GIII licences , Calvin Klein ready to wear collection for women and outerwear are doing "incredibly well".

Store believer. Woolrich, the upscale outdoor clothing company is betting on good old brick and mortar expansion to develop the brand. The group is adding 7800 square feet to its Soho store in New York and is developing a 6500 square feet showroom on nearby Varick street. Investment fund L-Gam, based in Liechtenstein, has recently bought a majority of Woolrich equity. The aim is to grow the niche market of the $1000 plus Woolrich's parkas.


is a product
delivered to you by | Imprint