Welcome back to The Spin! New York City just got its own outlet mall - on Staten Island. Over in Germany, Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof hammered out a social plan for the joint-venture's employees. Meanwhile, an Italian luxury brand continues its legal dispute with a Florida-based exporter of young alligators. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Brave new retail world. In the next five years, advances in AI, AR/VR and PWAs are going to dramatically change the shopping process. Merchandising will be improved through faster data analytics and automated pricing, shopper experiences are going to be enhanced through personalization and the automation of simple tasks, and optimized delivery services will speed up distribution.


New sensation. After seven years of development, New York City’s first outlet mall opened to strong traffic. BFC’s Empire Outlets is located on Staten Island, close to the famous Staten Island Ferry, which connects the borough with lower Manhattan. On about 32,000 m2, the mall features 100 locations and a hotel, with 22 stores already occupied by brands like Nike Factory, Old Navy and American Eagle and 18 additional ones set to open by summer.

As good as it gets. After long negotiations, the HBC and Signa owned Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof joint-venture and its works councils have hammered out (in German) a social plan for the group’s employees. The overall package provides for a severance payment of up to 18 months' salary and certain payments to employees over 61 for each month from the end of their employment to the start of their pension. Although employees criticize it as inferior to the previous agreement with HBC, the works council views (paywall; translated by Google) it as the best possible result under the difficult circumstances.

Lord & Failure. The fact that HBC is offering Lord & Taylor for sale, is evidence that the Canadian retail group is placing more value on Saks Fifth Avenue, which recently received $250 million for the renovation of its NY flagship. Following the sale of L&T’s NY flagship to WeWork, it now operates 45 locations in the US, but experts expect little interest in America’s oldest department store chain…


Massive attack. According to a survey (in German) by credit information specialist Crifbürgel, 97 percent of German online shops have been victims of fraud or attempted fraud, and 55 percent have seen fraud increase. Major offenses include (paywall; translated by Google) falsified names or addresses, identity theft, inability to pay, and stolen payment data. For 34 percent of respondents last year’s damage (in German) was under €5000, but 56 percent had to cope with losses over €10,000.


Leaving Marc Cain. After 19 years of service, sales manager Norbert Lock is leaving (paywall; translated by Google) troubled German premium brand Marc Cain. The move follows a year after the departure of creative managing director Karin Veit. Lock is being succeeded by Frank Rheinboldt, who has also been named member of the management board.


Stop making sense! Extreme-trend fashion pieces like Y/Project’s $315 Janties (jeans panties), Jacquemus’ microscopic Mini Le Chiquita bag, and Topshop’s transparent trousers are not only hot items on Instagram: Most of those crazy pieces, which are not even wearable in “real life”, usually sell out in no time. A leader in this field is currently Balenciaga, but others are catching up quickly.


Pay you later, alligator. Two issues are at the center of a dispute between Prada and a Florida-based exporter. According to the Italian luxury brand, Caporicci USA failed to deliver a total of $3.2 million worth of paid-for alligators. A Milan-based arbitrator decided in favor of Prada, but Caporicci will not pay until its own breach-of-contract lawsuit against Prada and three alligator farms is resolved. That case involves 700 young and 26 full-grown animals, for which Caporicci expects a brokers fee.


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