Welcome another Friday – and another Friday edition of The Spin. Several companies are trying to get their acts together, including Victoria's Secret parent L Brands and Germany's Tom Tailor. Meanwhile, there are big smiles at Kohl's, Maison Kitsuné and Swedish label Eytys, all of which have good news to share today. And for those of you seeking a huge untapped retail opportunity, may we (and the continent itself) suggest Africa? Enjoy the read and your weekend. Best, Christopher


Slimming down. L Brands, the parent company of troubled lingerie label Victoria's Secret, is making good on its previously announced plan to concentrate on its biggest brands by selling its La Senza monobrand lingerie chain. It said yesterday that a deal has been struck with private equity firm Regent LP to acquire La Senza by next month. L Brands bought the Canadian innerwear stores, which are expected to have an annual loss of $40 million this year, nearly 12 years ago for $700 million.


Holiday cheer. US discount retailer Kohl's has successfully bucked the economic and retail temporary staff shortage by hiring even more than the 90,000 workers it aimed to take on for the holidays. It achieved this by placing "help wanted" notices a full two months earlier than its competitors and offering the temps the same 35 percent discount as its permanent staff. Kohl's has also announced that all its stores will again be open 24 hours a day starting next Friday morning until 6pm on Christmas Eve.


Troubles at Tom. Tom Tailor has issued its second profit warning (in German; paywall) of the year, which was caused primarily by the continuing poor performance of its womenswear subsidiary Bonita, which it is now considering unloading as it continues to explore other restructuring options. The value of Bonita will be written down by €120 million to €130 million by year's end. The news is the latest in an unsettling German fashion-business trend that is seeing established brands such as Gerry Weber and Esprit struggling.

Simpatico Swedes. The next fashion brand to create a collection for H&M is a fellow Swedish company. The giant retailer said that it is producing a new collaborative and gender neutral collection of apparel and footwear with Eytys, a five-year-old Stockholm-based brand best known for its shoes. The items (gallery) will hit H&M stores starting on January 24, 2019.


Yuni in da house. French contemporary clothing brand Maison Kitsuné has named its first ever creative director and she is quite a "get." Yuni Ahn, who served as design director at Céline under Phoebe Philo, has assumed the role and will present her first collection for the brand at Paris Fashion Week in January. Some insiders are already predicting that she will help propel the still somewhat niche label's recognition and distribution.

Inside job. Alessandro Corsi, who has been with Salvatore Ferragamo for 15 years and who currently serves as the company's chief strategy officer, will become (paywall) its CFO and strategic manager as of January 11. He will replace Ugo Giorgelli in the former role, who announced his departure earlier this week.


E-comm opportunity. Business and government bigwigs met in Nairobi, Kenya this week to discuss how to improve e-commerce in Africa. Findings at the Africa E-Commerce Week showed that less than 25 percent of Africans are connected to the internet – something that the participants want changed asap – and that Mauritius is the most ready African nation to embrace online shopping. However, in a worldwide list of 151 other nations, it comes in at an unimpressive 55th.

Dirty thirty. The European Union is banning 33 chemicals employed in the textile sector (including clothing, accessories, footwear or anything that touches human skin) that it deems are harmful to human health. The carcinogenic and/or mutagenic formulas include formaldehyde, heavy metals and benzenes. Companies have until December 2020 to stop using them.


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