Feb
 22
 2019



Christopher

Hello,

Welcome to today's edition of The Spin. A faulty sneaker has caused big headaches for Nike and the final Fendi collection by Karl Lagerfeld has been unveiled to misty eyed fans. Hudson's Bay has announced another round of store closures and Australia's David Jones continues on a downward slide. But designer Paul Andrew had a good week at least.... Happy Friday, Christopher



brands

Footwear fiascos. Nike's PR team is getting an unexpected workout after star college basketball player Zion Williamson fell on court and sprained his knee when his left Nike PG 2.5 PE shoe split open just seconds into a high profile game on Wednesday night. The brand was immediately criticized on social media for the malfunction and Nike stock fell 1.1 percent – a loss of $1.1 billion – by yesterday's close. Nike says it is investigating the problem, but it's not its only one: Some buyers of its just released $350 self-lacing Adapt BB shoes are experiencing technological glitches with these computerized smart sneakers.


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Aussie acquisition. PVH Corp, the parent company of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger among others, is buying its licensing partner in Australia, Gazal Corp, for AU$124 million (approx. €77.58 million). The deal, which still needs to be approved, will see PVH acquire the remaining 78 percent of Gazal that it doesn't already own along with its five-year-old joint venture with Gazal, PVH Brands Australia, which holds licenses for various PVH-owned brands in Australia, New Zealand and other parts of Oceania.



Fendi's farewell. Last night in Milan Fendi presented its final collection designed by the late Karl Lagerfeld with a poignant show that honored his memory and longtime association with the house. Celebrating his 54 years as Fendi's creative director – the longest fashion collaboration in history – the event featured a reproduction of his "Love KL" signature at the back of the catwalk, every model decked out in a Lagerfeld-like ponytail and a closing video that showed him and his sketches.





retail

Closing time. Hudson's Bay Co. is performing a "fleet review" of its 133 Saks Off 5th off-price stores in the US and Canada and said that it expects to close 20 underperforming ones in the coming months. It also announced that it will shutter all 37 locations of its homeware chain Home Outfitters across Canada by the end of the year. It is the latest move by the troubled retail conglomerate, which recently sold Gilt, downsized Lord & Taylor and merged its European operations to help improve its performance.



Plunging profits. Things continue to get worse for Australian department store David Jones. The store, which has been owned by South Africa's Woolworths Holdings since 2014, saw profits fall nearly 30 percent in the six months ended December 23, 2018 to AU$47 million (approx. €29.4 million). This follows a nearly 38 percent profit drop in the corresponding period the year before. Woolworths CEO Ian Moir, who is now also serving as David Jones' interim CEO, vowed to return to profit growth starting next year.



Ways to pay. Retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Urban Outfitters have adopted new payment methods to attract Millennial customers, many of whom do not have traditional credit cards and who notoriously fear being in debt and having a poor credit score. To accommodate the needs of this generation with $200 billion in spending power, stores are increasingly offering payment platforms such as Venmo and ApplePay or installment plans via services such as AfterPay.





people

Embracing AI. Levi Strauss has hired its first artificial intelligence officer. Katia Walsh, formerly of Vodaphone, will join the apparel giant in the newly created role at the end of April and be responsible for building data, analytics and AI systems at the company, which already launched virtual stylist chatbots on its website two years ago.



Promoting Paul... Paul Andrew is the new creative director of Salvatore Ferragamo the brand announced yesterday. It's the second time Andrew, who continues to design and produce an eponymous line of women's footwear, has ascended the ladder at the Italian house. He came aboard in 2016 as the director of women's footwear and was promoted to women's creative director the following year.



... and questioning Kevin. The Wall Street Journal says that Under Armour's CEO, Kevin Plank, was questioned by the board of directors about his relationship with MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle and whether their association had negative effects on his leadership. Sources allege that he followed her advice instead of management's and flew her on a private jet that is leased to company. He has denied any wrongdoing.







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