Welcome back to The Spin! As Jack Ma laments the proliferation of European data privacy laws, French luxury group LVMH has unveiled the world's first global blockchain for the luxury industry, allowing customers to track the origin and authenticity of luxury products. Meanwhile, US home goods chain Bed, Bath & Beyond launched an ad poking fun at hard-core online shoppers. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Transparency trend. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has unveiled the first global blockchain, allowing consumers to trace origins and authenticity of luxury goods. The Ethereum-based Aura platform, which has been developed (press release) by US blockchain specialist ConsenSys and Microsoft, will launch with LVMH’s Louis Vuitton and Parfums Christian Dior divisions. It is open to all luxury brands without intermediation.

Europe's edicts. Jack Ma is worried about increased regulations of tech companies in Europe. According to the Alibaba’s co-founder, the continent’s stringent new data laws for the protection of consumers’ rights as well as its new AI ethics guidelines restrict technology companies’ abilities to innovate. Ma, who spoke at the Viva Technology Conference in Paris, feels that Asia and Africa do not display such worries. But the US is also catching on.


Shorter address. To accelerate international growth, LVMH has simplified the name of its 24 Sèvres online platform to 24S. The previous name was a nod to the address of LVMH’s Le Bon Marché department store on Rue de Sèvres. The platform was launched in 2017 in 70 markets and now reaches customers in over 100 countries. Expansion is planned for strong key regions including the US as well as new markets with strong potential.

Catching missed sales. In its biggest cooperation deal so far, German online retailer Zalando is going to connect (paywall; translated by Google) 80 German stores of the HBC and Signa owned Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof joint-venture to its platform. Before the end of Q2, eight Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof locations in Berlin will start selling via Zalando’s marketplace, which already counts over 1,000 brick-and-mortar partner stores both in Germany and the Netherlands, its first foreign market.


Working hard for the money. Adidas is Germany’s most popular fashion employer. According to a study (list) by leading European trade magazine TextilWirtschaft, the Herzogenaurach-based company is followed by fast climbing Betty Barclay (Montana, Vera Mont), Hugo Boss, PVH (Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein), pants specialist Brax and Puma. Apparel discounters KiK, Primark and Takko made a giant leap from the bottom to the middle of the field, surpassing (translated by Google) fast fashion retailers Inditex (Zara, Massimo Dutti), H&M, P&C, C&A.

Urge to merge. As the market shifts from pure product sales to emotional shopping, the Reference Berlin Festival aims (paywall) to provide a platform for collaborations. On May 18, an empty car park in Berlin-Neukölln will become (in German) a world where fashion, art, music and “everything else” will merge. Organized by Berlin-based Reference Studios, the secretive event features brands like Comme des Garçons, 1017 ALYX 9SM and Gentle Monster, as well as galleries including Ruttkowski;68, artists like Mark Jenkins, the DJ duo Fecal Matter and rapper Mykki Blanco.


Looking for a Breevolution. Following a comprehensive repositioning, German handbag label Bree has unexpectedly filed (paywall; translated by Google) for insolvency in its own administration. Apparently, online sales grew too slowly, reaching (in German) only 5 percent of sales, much lower than the industry average of 20 percent. To push its business, the Hamburg-based company is now looking for a strong investor. Business expenses like salaries are secured (in German) for the next three months.


Bed, to the future! US home goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond pokes fun at hard-core online shoppers, who seem to have forgotten how pleasurable visits at brick-and-mortar stores can be. Its tongue-in-cheek ad (video), which runs on social media, features customers who cannot believe that they can actually touch a product before they buy it. They are also super surprised that they can take everything home immediately and don’t have to wait for delivery.


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