Welcome back to The Spin! While Amazon contemplates a return to New York, two German retailers forge ahead with their own platform plans. We also tell you, how too much abundance at well-meaning "retail therapy" can actually have the opposite effect. Due to the celebration of Ascension Day in 48 countries worldwide, we will be off this Thursday and see you again on Friday! Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


The Comeback! After canceling plans to build their second headquarter in Queens, Amazon is now looking for office space on Manhattan’s west side. Still, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio remains unenthusiastic and does not offer any help or incentives. In addition to offices, the online giant is also expanding its store network. But contrary to competitors like Walmart and Target most of its physical locations don’t accept returns of online purchases.


Meet me at the marketplace... The holding of Berlin-based department store KaDeWe, which just extended its digital shopping service to its German sister stores Oberpollinger and Alsterhaus, intends to launch (paywall; translated by Google) an online marketplace with Italian department store group La Rinascente. The companies, which are both owned (paywall) by Thailand’s Central Group, plan to launch their platform in Autumn 2020.

...on Zalando's tracks. Meanwhile, Mannheim-based fashion retailer Engelhorn has implemented (paywall; translated by Google) its own digital platform, offering direct-to-consumer shipping for partner brands. Utilizing the TB.Market solution by Tradebyte, which has been owned by Zalando since 2016, now gets access to over 650 brands and retailers.


Sports Expedited. New York-based brand management company Authentic Brands Group has bought Sports Illustrated for $110 million from Meredith Corp., which will continue to run the iconic sports magazine and related website for at least two more years. In the meantime, ABG plans (paywall) to license the brand into other areas including events, gaming, video and TV, potentially building a lifestyle and entertainment platform.


Go your own way. To this day, most merchants base about 20 percent of their decision making on data, and 80 percent on gut feeling. Amazon takes the opposite approach, and other retailers are also rethinking the old 20:80 rule. Instead of historical data, which can be skewed due to markdowns and other factors, tech savvy companies including Zara and Boohoo now use real-time, non-manipulated, customer-centric data.

Filling the war chest. To finance additional investments in technology, Chinese online giant Alibaba considers a secondary stock listing in Hong Kong. The company, which listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 for a record $25 billion, now aims to raise an additional $20 billion. The filing is expected for the second half of 2019.


Broken Trust. As Tom Tailor struggles (in German) to sell its Bonita brand, chairman Thomas Tochtermann has resigned (paywall; translated by Google) at the request of its majority shareholder, Fosun International. Fosun, which holds about 35 percent in Tom Tailor Holding SE, has already promoted Junyang Shao from VP at Fosun Fashion Group in Frankfurt to chairwoman. The company also put FFG’s CFO, Michael Chou, on the board, raising the number of Fosun’s representatives to three.


Paralyzing plentitude. Digital retail’s massive amount of options is causing cases of choice fatigue among online shoppers. Already covered in the 2004 book The Paradox of Choice by psychologist Barry Schwartz, the phenomenon of too much choice can paralyze customers and even cause anxiety, dissatisfaction and regret.


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