Welcome back! Retail news dominate today's issue of The Spin. From Saint Laurent's new Rive Droite concept and the swift comeback of Charlotte Russe, to Arcadia's agony and Toys R Us' digital dive Down Under. We also tell you, how much (or how little) consumers are willing to pay for sustainable fashion. Due to Pentecost Monday we will be off next Monday. Enjoy the read, and see you back Tuesday, Ulrike


Channeling Colette. Saint Laurent’s new Rive Droite store concept launches (paywall) this Saturday in the former Colette space in Paris, and on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles. Offering desirable objects - from fashion and furniture to skateboards, vinyl records and even Saint Laurent condoms - the creative and cultural event spaces are the brainchild (in Italian) of creative director Anthony Vaccarello, who intends to show a broader interpretation of the brand.


18,000 jobs on the line. Although British Arcadia Group has passed a crucial checkpoint for its proposed CVA when CEO Sir Philip Green agreed to put another £25 million into the company’s pension funds, the vote was unexpectedly postponed for until June 12 when landlords refused to back his proposal.

The Comeback. US fashion retailer Charlotte Russe, which sold its brand name to Canadian clothing company YM as part of its liquidation in March, has relaunched. On June 5, the first five of 100 planned new US stores were opened in New Jersey (2), Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia. Toronto-based YM operates over 560 stores in North America, among them Urban Planet, Urban Kids and Sirens.

Digital, Down Under. This week, defunct US retailer Toys R Us re-entered the Australian market as a digital player. Following an 18-month online push with licensing partner Hobby Warehouse, the companies plan to open experience centers and “retail lite” experiential stores with little stock. The company closed its 44 physical locations in Australia as part of its restructuring under last year’s voluntary administration.


Awaiting D-Day. According to Amazon, the online giant’s new self-piloted delivery drones have several safety issues covered. With computer vision and machine learning, the current models (video) are said to be more stable and equipped to avoid people and obstacles. Although no exact time table is available, the drones are scheduled to be deployed within months.


Pulling back the curtain. As part of their sustainability and transparency efforts, several brands like womenswear label Ellie Mae Studios in Toronto, and New York-based 3x1 have combined their studios with their stores, offering retail clients a first-hand view at how they produce. Since these locations are typically in expensive retail areas, cost-savings are not much of a factor.

Deep Disconnect. While consumers in the US and the UK are very much in favor of sustainable fashion practices, they don't want to pay for the additional costs. According to a report (sign-up required) by online platform Nosto, more than half of 2,000 respondents would like the apparel industry to apply more environmentally friendly practices, but only 29 percent would pay more for those items, with 62 percent actually expecting a discount…


Expanding Reality. In cooperation with robotic interiors specialist Ori (video) Ikea tackles the expected overcrowding of large cities with a new generation of robotic, expandable and shrinkable furniture for small living spaces. The furniture giant laid out its vision during its “Democratic Design Days” on Tuesday in the small town of Almhult, Sweden. The robotic Rognan line will launch next year in Hong Kong and Japan.


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