TGIF and welcome to this week-ending edition of The Spin. It's official: Sears is surviving after all and Foot Locker has made a hefty investment in digital. Two more brands have been accused of clueless racism–and pulled the offending items as a result–while cruelty-free clothing got its first big celebration in LA recently. Enjoy the read and have a marvelous weekend. Best, Christopher


Court ordered. A federal bankruptcy judge officially approved Eddie Lampert's $5.2 billion deal to acquire Sears and keep the struggling retailer and its stores in operation. Lambert, the store's chairman, has acquired the retailer through his hedge fun ESL Investments. And while the remaining 425 extant doors will stay open for now, ESL says that 156 are underperforming so more closures could happen in the future.

Foot funding. Giant sneaker retailer Foot Locker has invested $100 million in GOAT Group, the parent company of sneaker resellers GOAT and rare sneaker brick-and-mortar chain Flight Club. The deal is Foot Locker's biggest investment ever and is meant to expand the company's digital footprint. The injection of cash raises GOAT Group's valuation to $550 million and will give all three brands a better edge in the $100 billion global sneaker marketplace.

Dollars down the drain. A newly released survey by Celect, an expert in predictive analytics and inventory optimization, reveals that non-grocery retailers in the US lost $300 billion (press release) in revenue last year because of markdowns. Participants said these unplanned price reductions were mostly due to external factors, overbuying, buying the wrong product and misallocated inventory. Just 15 percent of the retailers surveyed said that they were able to sell most of their inventory at full price.


Slipping Spade. Tapestry, the parent company of Coach and Kate Spade, cut its full-year profit forecast yesterday after revealing disappointing Q2 numbers. While sales at Coach rose about 2 percent in the quarter, they were down 1.6 percent at Kate Spade, leaving many to believe that the brand is not experiencing an anticipated turnaround after all. Tapestry's CEO assured investors that product by a new design team, which recently hit shelves for the first time, will be better accepted by consumers.

Stepping it up. Unlike Tapestry, Skechers' latest financial results are excellent. Yesterday the California-based shoemaker announced Q4 sales of $1.08 billion for a year-end total of $4.64 billion – a company personal best. Its D'Lites "dad shoe" offerings were among its biggest hits and Skechers reported double digit growth in all four areas of its international business. Skechers stock soared in the wake of the news.

Racial recalls. Both Gucci and Adidas have pulled products this week that have been criticized as racially insensitive. The Italian luxury house issued and apology and removed a black balaclava sweater after people said that it resembled someone donning blackface or the offensive Sambo stereotype character. Likewise, Adidas has also stopped selling its Ultraboost shoe model that was created to honor Black History Month this month. The problem? The cotton sneaker was entirely white.


Animal-free apparel. The first ever Vegan Fashion Week took place in Los Angeles last weekend and was deemed a success by its founder Emmanuella Rienda who now wants to take it worldwide. The event (gallery) included runway shows that spotlighted cruelty-free materials derived from pineapples, apples and cork, among others. Attendees included vegan celebs such as Moby and Mena Suvari. The second edition will probably be held in either New York or Paris.


Futuristic fabric. Scientists at the University of Maryland have developed a new temperature sensitive textile that expands or contracts depending on heat and humidity. The high-tech fabric can be knitted, dyed and washed like a regular one and its developers are now looking to team with an apparel manufacturer to employ it in clothing.


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