Welcome back to a new week and a new issue of The Spin! Amidst store closures and non-paying tenants, retail property owners are starting to feel the sting. Over in the digital world, cybersquatting continues to increase. And to appease nature lovers, H&M has begun selling second-hand and vintage clothing. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Hidden figures. In addition to the much publicized store closures in the US and the UK (paywall), there are many less visible cases of retailers taking advantage of the dire situation by renegotiating their rents and - in some cases - completely stopping to pay. Retail property owners like New York’s Thor Equities are already feeling (paywall) the sting.


New highs. Last year, the number of cybersquatting cases filed with the WIPO rose by 12 percent. The fashion industry is among the most strongly affected businesses, following banking/finance, biotechnology/pharmaceuticals, and Internet/IT. Cybersquatting is the registration of brand names by third-parties to sell them back to their owners or use them for fraud. Meanwhile, new data protection regulations like as the EU’s GDPR affect the accessibility of registrant information in domain name databases. 


Home, sweet home. Coinciding with Milan’s Salone Del Mobile furniture fair (April 9-14), Italian luxury label Gucci has opened a temporary store for its posh home decor collection (press release). Located on Via Santo Spirito, the 250 m2 location features the entire Gucci Décor collection including furniture, home decor, ceramics and tableware - all displayed as lavish living areas. The two-story store will remain open until June.


Quick conversion. Following the discontinuation of the Saks Off 5th and Look&Viel off-price concepts in Germany, those sales areas at Galeria Kaufhof and Karstadt department stores are going to be converted (paywall; translated by Google) to dress-for-less. Owned (in Dutch) by Karstadt's holding, Signa, the dress-for-less shops are going to be smaller at 400 to 700 m2. Proceedings will start in April with Saks Off 5th shops at two Galeria Kaufhof locations in Hanover and Cologne.

Back to the future! Following its partnership (press release) with Worn Again, H&M is planning the sale of vintage and second-hand clothes in Sweden. A pilot test is going to run online at H&M’s & Other Stories division. If successful, the program will be extended to other brands and markets in the future. With the initiative, H&M reacts to the growing concern about fast fashion’s impact on the environment.

Rough cut. As part of its self administered insolvency proceedings, Halle-based fashion company Gerry Weber is going to close (paywall; translated by Google) 120 stores and shop-in-shops in Germany, affecting more than 300 jobs. Additional jobs will be eliminated in administration, bringing the total count to about 450. This is in addition to the original restructuring plan, which provides for the closure of around 180 sales areas (excluding Hallhuber) throughout Europe. Gerry Weber International AG filed for insolvency in January.


Exodus! Following the departure of SVPs Philipp Erler and Jerome Cochet, the exodus of top managers at Zalando continues (paywall; translated by Google) with Christian Baier, former Managing Director of Zalando's now defunct private label division zLabels, and Eric Bowman, VP of Engineering. Baier is taking (press release, in German) the CFO position at outdoor adverting specialist Stöer, while Bowman returns to Durch tech company Tom Tom, where he held the position of principal architect from 2007 to 2011.


Survival of the fittest. In 40 years at the helm of US fashion label Theory, Andrew Rosen has seen three dramatic changes in the industry, including the beginning of the designer mania in the mid-1970s, the 1990s’ democratization of fashion with concepts like Scoop, and the current shift of power to the consumer due to digitization and the rise of data driven marketing.


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