Welcome to this Wednesday edition of The Spin. There's a lot happening in the world of retail: Macy's is cutting more jobs, Harrods is boosting its online presence, Foot Locker is investing in another online brand and Selfridges will soon stop selling merchandise made from exotic animals. Burberry proves the old saying "If there's three it's officially a trend" and J.Crew has hired a new women's designer. Maybe he can work a miracle there? Enjoy the read. Best, Christopher


Executive expulsions. Macy's will let go about 100 employees who are senior vice presidents or higher to streamline operations and save $100 million in costs per year. Yesterday's announcement came after the US chain released its Q4 numbers which reflected a disappointing holiday performance and $210 million drop in revenue compared to the prior year. Comparable store sales did rise slightly however and Macy's online sales saw double-digit growth for the 38th quarter in a row.

Helping Harrods. A new strategic partnership between Harrods and Farfetch will allow the latter to create a new global e-commerce platform for the former that is expected to be operational by 2020. The terms of the agreement were not revealed but Farfetch will provide technical and logistics support while Harrods will supply all of its own content and customer service.

Another investment. Foot Locker has taken a $12.5 million minority investment in children's apparel online subscription service Rockets of Awesome. The deal, which is the latest of several similar ones that Foot Looker has made recently, will create Rockets of Awesome shop-in-shops in Foot Locker stores as well as on and allow Rockets of Awesome to open its first standalone store. The move is part of Foot Locker's plan to offer more unique merchandise as its big name brands increasingly turn to selling online and direct to consumer.

Stopping skins. Following recent announcements by Chanel and Victoria Beckham, Selfridges is the latest fashion name to ban exotic skins. The storied English department store will phase out products made from reptile hides and snakeskin by February 2020 but continue to carry items created with agriculturally sourced leather from traditional livestock. The retailer already banned real fur from its assortment in 2005.


Hard half. Esprit has reported increased losses and lower revenue for the first half of the fiscal year compared to the same period the year before. Losses were HK$1.77 billion (€198.9 million), or a rise of HK$1.23 million while revenue fell 15 percent to HK$6.76 billion (€758.6 million). The results were in line with predictions the company, which in the midst of revitalization plan, predicted in November. It continues to reduce staff and says that although revenues were down their descent continues to slow.

Officially a trend. In the wake of its "suicide" noose hoodie blunder at LFW Burberry has become the third luxury fashion brand (along with Gucci and Prada) to announce it is initiating steps to promote diversity and inclusion within its ranks. CEO Marco Gobbetti said it will train staff in social and sensitivity issues and create internal and external councils to advise on these issues. In addition, it will extend its scholarships to more students and internationally and start working with organizations that also promote diversity.


Chris to Crew. J.Crew, which recently showed improving sales after struggling for years, has hired Chris Benz as its new head of women's design. Benz, who is known for his signature colorful preppy aesthetic, comes to the brand from Bill Blass where he served (paywall) as creative director since 2015. He also had a lauded eponymous apparel line from 2007 to about 2015. It's the latest staff change at J.Crew, which has seen numerous high-profile executives and creatives leave in the last few years.

Adieu, Alison. Alison Coville, who has served as president of Canada's Hudson's Bay department stores since June 2017, will leave that position as of March 1. Parent company Hudson's Bay Co. did not state a reason for her departure (paywall) but Coville was also in charge of the 37-store Home Outfitters chain, which HBC announced last week would be closing this year. A temporary team of executives will assume her duties until a permanent replacement is hired.


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