Mar
 22
 2019



Ulrike

Hello,

Welcome back to a new edition of The Spin! Today there's a strong focus on tech with news from Walmart, Macy's and Pinterest. We also reveal several new retail developments in the US and Europe, as well as a major counterfeiting bust in China. Enjoy the read - and your weekend! Best, Ulrike



tech

Prepping for an IPO. As eCommerce competition heats up, Pinterest strives to transform itself into a serious shopping portal. Ahead of its planned IPO, the social media platform has wooed away Jeremy King from his CTO position at Walmart’s online division to be its head of engineering. King, who also worked for eBay in the past, will replace Vanja Josifovski (who left for Airbnb) to lead the team behind Pinterest’s visual engine. While Walmart looks for a replacement, Fiona Tan, SVP of customer technology, takes on his responsibilities.



Tech tales. To cut costs, US department store chain Macy’s has decided to close its tech support plant and outsource its entire IT unit, affecting 57 non-union employees. Meanwhile, crafts retailer JoAnn plans an in-store technology push and has appointed Varadheesh Chennakrishnan CIO. The tech pro joins JoAnn from the successful Ulta Beauty cosmetics chain.





markets

Cathay's call... Domestic luxury spending continues to grow in China, attracting Western brands. To test (paywall) the market, many are attending Shanghai Fashion Week. During the Spring event from March 27 to April 3, a total of 426 labels from 28 countries are going to show their collections. In addition to group events like the BFC initiative which includes Jenny Packham and Jamie Wei Huang, newcomers like US-based Vivienne Tam and Andrea Jiapei Lie have also decided to participate.



...for action. As Western brands are increasing their efforts in China, Chinese authorities have arrested 32 members of a counterfeiting ring that has produced and sold about $15 million worth of fake luxury goods from brands like Louis Vuitton, Loewe and Kenzo. The knock-offs were sold on messaging apps like Tencent’s WeChat.





retail

Name game. Following an unexpected Q4 loss, DSW (short for Designer Shoe Warehouse), announced a major rebranding. Effective April 2, the Columbus/Ohio-based footwear retailer is changing its corporate name to Designer Brands Inc and its stock symbol to DBI. The nameplates of the stores will remain DSW. The company also plans to create private shoe labels through its newly acquired Camuto Group, expand its kids business, and roll out services like custom insoles and nail salons at its stores.



Bye, bye, Bonita! To focus on its namesake core brand, German Tom Tailor Group has sold its struggling Bonita brand to Dutch Victory&Dreams International Holding, (paywall, in German) which also owns the ailing Miller&Monroe fashion chain. The price has not been disclosed. As its German Vidrea Deutschland GmbH undergoes insolvency proceedings, Victory&Dreams plans to develop Bonita to its full potential. Tom Tailor bought Bonita in 2012.





people

The incredible Sarah. On June 3, designer Sarah Burton, who has been creative director at Alexander McQueen for almost ten years, will receive the CFDA’s International Award. Here is a look (paywall) at her career, which started in 1996, when she was introduced to the late designer. McQueen brought her into his company as an intern and groomed her to continue his design magic.





last

Great news for Amazon. The same day that a study revealed that price-matching is one of the most important services to draw consumers into physical stores, Walmart announced (Walmart blog) the discontinuation of its Savings Catcher price matching app. The program, which was started in 2014, will stop on May 14, angering many customers who decided to voice their discontent on social media.







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