Welcome back to The Spin! While US retailers continue to struggle with changing market conditions, JD quietly set up a shop at Google. We also tell you, which US retailer might follow the example of Gap and split itself up, and which Italian jeans label just filed for bankruptcy in the US. Over in Paris, Fashion Week came to an end with the highly anticipated Chanel show, the last one designed by the late Karl Lagerfeld. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Not a single dry eye. Paris Fashion Week was an interesting contrast between dark, moody (translated by Google) productions and unusually relaxed, wearable tailoring. Highlights include Celine’s bourgeois 70s looks, Loewe’s mesmerizing fabrics, Saint Laurents broad-shouldered 80s styles, and Alexander McQueen’s sharp tailoring. The late Karl Lagerfeld’s final Chanel collection, an insuperable delight in black and white checks, was shown in a faux ski resort in Paris' Grand Palais.

Out of gas. Diesel USA has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing declining sales and mounting losses due to expensive leases and cyber fraud. As part of the planned reorganization, some of the brand’s 28 US stores are going to be closed as Diesel refocuses on new customers including Millennials and Generation Z. The Italian holding, Diesel Spa, is not affected.


A separation. The CEO of activist hedge fund Barington Capital is pushing L Brands to spin off Victoria’s Secret. In a letter to L Brands CEO Leslie Wexner, James Mitarotonda urges the retail group, which was one of 2018’s worst performing stocks, to explore options including the spinoff of Victoria’s Secret and an IPO of its Bath & Body Works beauty retailer. In response, L Brands points out (press release) recent advances to enhance performance.

Welcoming Versace. Germany’s Outletcity Metzingen is expanding. Scheduled to open on April 5, a new luxury space will house (paywall; translated by Google) 16 top labels including Versace and Valentino as well as Breitling watches, Starbucks and Marché Mövenpick. Spanning 30,000m², Outletcity Metzingen is Germany's largest outlet center. By the end of the year, the sales area will grow to 40,000m², with anchor tenant Hugo Boss opening a new 6000m² (previously 4500m²) location with its own café.

And another one... Dutch multi-label fashion retailer Miller & Monroe is in serious financial trouble. Its German operating company Vidrea Deutschland GmbH is (paywall; translated by Google) currently in preliminary insolvency proceedings. In March 2018, Amsterdam-based Victory and Dreams Holding took over the business operations of Charles Vögele Germany with its Miller & Monroe concept. Due to Vidrea’s sluggish payments, several suppliers have already broken off relations earlier this year.


JD x Google. As China’s online companies are pushing into the US market, e-commerce giant Jingdong (JD) has quietly launched a Joybuy online store on Google Express. Featuring a condensed assortment of JD’s Chinese Joybuy site, the e-store offers about 500 items including sports and hair accessories, small leather goods and electronics. The full Joybuy assortment, which also ships to the US, includes clothing and accessories from brands like Burdully, Style Clever Spring and Veragee.

Selling trust. Since life is increasingly technology driven, data privacy and security have become strong competitive forces. With technologies like Facebook running on 62 million lines of code, most programs are too large and complex to be continuously monitored. Retail is a particularly low cybersecurity performer, therefore the sector should prioritize data privacy and security and effectively communicate those priorities to consumers.


Concept of harmony. China is very peculiar about the protection of its values. In December, a town banned Santa Claus and Christmas items deemed unauthorized Christian worship, and recently millions of black-listed persons were blocked from traveling. Now a Chinese court decided to ban (paywall) the Chinese streetwear label MLBG. Apparently the letters, which officially stand for My Life is Getting Better, are also an abbreviation of a vulgar expression, tarnishing socialist values.


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