Welcome back to The Spin! Today, we offer you a first glimpse at Rihanna's Fenty luxury collection for LVMH, which will go on sale later this month. There are also lots of retail news regarding store openings, store closures and retail partnerships. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Royal Rihanna. US pop icon Robyn Rihanna Fenty, which was just named CEO and artistic director of LVMH’s new Fenty Inc subsidiary, has provided a first glimpse of her collection, and a video on Youtube. Operating outside of the traditional fashion schedule, the label will debut in Paris on May 22, followed (paywall) by a Paris pop-up shop on May 24 and an online launch on May 29.


Fast and furious. Over the next five years, three top managers of German online retailer Zalando could each earn up to €170 million in stock - the highest compensation level ever recorded in Europe. Following public outrage, Robert Gentz, Rubin Ritter and David Schneider emphasize (in German), that this income is tied to double-digit digit sales growth. In the past, Zalando has regularly reached this benchmark - unfortunately at the cost of profits…

Friends with benefits. To keep return costs in check, Amazon relies increasingly on its Amazon Returns partnership with Kohl’s, which gives the online retailer a physical presence within 15 miles of about 80 percent of the US population. According to experts, consolidation of returns can reduce cost per package to about $2 from $10 with the added benefits of less likelihood of damage to parcels during transport.


Lap of luxury. Nordstrom, which is expected (paywall) to report lower earnings today, will open (paywall) its massive women’s flagship store in New York on October 24. On about 30,000 m2, the Seattle-based luxury retailer plans to offer high-end women’s apparel and footwear as well as assorted restaurants and coffee bars. It is located right across Nordstrom’s New York men’s flagship on 57th Street.

Bye, bye, Dressbarn. Following a 10 percent drop in comparable sales, Ascena-owned womenswear chain Dressbarn is going to close its 650 stores in the US. The move will affect about 6,800 employees. At its peak, the affordable fashion chain contributed over $1 billion to Ascena’s revenues, which also owns brands like Ann Taylor and Loft. In fiscal 2018, sales for Ascena’s value fashion division, which includes Dressbarn and the recently sold Maurices division, fell nearly 7 percent to $1.82 billion.

Return to specialness. Due to declining profits, Marks and Spencer is accelerating planned store closures. Originally scheduled to shut down by 2022, 100 earmarked stores will now be closed by the end of 2020. In an attempt to simplify operations, the London-based company is also considering job cuts in its apparel and home teams, which currently counts about 1,000 employees. Meanwhile, CEO Steve Rowe pledges to make M&S special again.


Fabulous formation. An exclusive partnership with US cheerleading competition host Varsity Spirit massively boosted the fan base of Kate Hudson’s expansive fitness label, Fabletics. The two-year deal allows Fabletics to operate pop-up shops at Varsity Spirit’s popular events, which netted the sports label more than 5,000 new members and about $500,000 in sales.


Devil in the detail. US online giant Amazon has revealed a preview of its second headquarter scheduled to open in Arlington, Virginia. First development plans show two LEED gold certified buildings with 22 floors each, covering a combined office space of about 200,000 m2. In addition, the complex will feature neighborhood retail and new community space.


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