Jan
 17
 2019



Christopher

Hello,

Welcome to this Thursday edition of The Spin. In the wake of some of global retail's biggest names gathering in New York this week, Sears may be off the "do not resuscitate" list and M&S is cutting back on its physical footprint even more. There are new executive power moves at LVMH and Hudson's Bay Europe and Rihanna is taking her father to court for using the Fenty name – which just happens to be the surname she has thanks to him. Enjoy the read. Best, Christopher



retail

Sears survives? After increasing its offer by about $150 million for a total of roughly $5.2 billion, Sears chairman Eddie Lampert's hedge fund ESL Investments and Sears Holdings reached an eleventh hour agreement yesterday for the former to acquire the latter and thus keep it and its 425 stores in the US open. The new deal, which still needs to be approved by a bankruptcy judge, is opposed by creditors who would prefer that the chain liquidates. If approved, it will save approximately 50,000 jobs but many believe that Lampert lacks the skills to turn the store around even if he does manage to nab it.


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Unlucky 17. British retailer Marks & Spencer announced yesterday that it is closing an additional 17 of its stores, resulting in the loss of about 1,000 jobs. The affected shops are spread throughout the UK and will join the 100 that M&S has already put on death row in an attempt to move one-third of its business online by 2022. The chain also said yesterday that it is cutting back on plastic use by launching lines of package-free fresh produce.



Show time. Topics and themes again abounded at this week's annual NRF Big Show in New York, one of the three largest retail conventions in the world. Expert panelists and keynote speakers discussed subjects that ranged from physical stores' transformations into omnichannel ones and/or fulfillment centers and the new technology that can track customer behavior. In addition, Piktorlabs debuted its new digital personal shopping assistant called VERA that suggests fashion items based on social media trends.





markets

Do a do-over! In the wake of Parliament's massive rejection of Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan on Tuesday the British Fashion Council is now officially supporting a People's Vote, or a second referendum, on the UK leaving the EU. It released a statement yesterday saying a no-deal Brexit would send the British fashion industry into chaos and confusion. In 2016, 90 percent of BFC members supported remaining in the EU.



Poor policy? A draft analysis by consulting firm PwC says that new rules restricting the reach of foreign e-commerce players in India might reduce internet sales there by as much as $46 billion by 2022. Created to protect small retailers from huge ones such as Amazon and Flipkart, the new policies takes effect February 1 and disallow foreign companies from having exclusive contracts with sellers, among other restrictions.





people

Committee woman. Delphine Arnault, the EVP of Louis Vuitton since September 2013 and the daughter of LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault since birth, has been named the newest member of the luxury conglomerate's executive committee. She is the second woman to join the group's managing body, which currently has a dozen members. Among her achievements at LVMH, she conceived and launched the LVMH Prize in 2013.



The Netherlands' new guy. Armand Devender, a longtime manager at Galeria Kaufhof who has been everything from branch manager to sales manager there, has been appointed (paywall; in German) as the new CEO of Hudson's Bay and Saks Off 5th in the Netherlands. The two chains are part of HBC Europe, whose majority owner is Signa. Defender replaces (in Dutch) interim boss Stefaan Le Clair.





last

Fenty filing. Rihanna has filed a lawsuit against her father, Ronald Fenty, for allegedly misrepresenting the fact that his company called Fenty Entertainment is associated with her and her Fenty brand of apparel and cosmetics. The entertainer and entrepreneur has used the Fenty name on her merchandise since 2012 while Ronald launched his enterprise in 2017.







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