Hello ,

Happy Tuesday and welcome back to The Spin! Canadian retailer HBC, which just received an offer to privatize, is leaving the German market, selling its 49.99 percent stake in Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof to Signa. Over in the UK, shoe designer Patrick Cox is preparing for a comeback, as Nike generates controversy with the new plus-size mannequins at its London flagship. Enjoy the read - and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Goodbye, Germany! Austrian retail group Signa is taking over the German Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof joint-venture entirely, buying out (press release) the 49.99 percent share of Canada’s HBC for $1.5 billion after only seven months. HBC, which will use a portion of the net proceeds to repay a $436 million term loan, is thereby leaving the German market for good.

Hello, Holland! HBC will release Signa from its 50.01% back-to-back guarantee of certain obligations of Hudson’s Bay Netherlands and assume complete ownership of their Dutch retail business, which is expected to initiate cost savings including store closures. Meanwhile, HBC itself received a proposal by a group of investors led by the company’s Executive Chairman Richard Baker to go private for C$9.45 per share.

No Angels! With its authentic approach to teen fashion, American Eagle Outfitters thrives in today’s challenging economic climate. Growth engine of the chain, which reported comp growth of 4 percent in Q1, is its inclusive lingerie and sports label Aerie. With its body-positive, untouched imagery, Aerie grew like-for-like sales by 14 percent, creating a formidable alternative to the ailing Victoria’s Secret brand, which saw comps fall by 5 percent last quarter.


Style Shazam! Following pioneers like the British Asos group, Swedish fast fashion chain H&M and German mail order giant Otto Group (interview, in German), Amazon is launching (paywall; translated by Google) a visual search engine. Running via the new StyleSnap app, it searches Amazon's assortment for items based on customer-generated photos or screenshots. Soon, the feature should also allow influencers to collect commissions for sales they inspire.


Versace ascending. In its quest to catch up to the large European luxury conglomerates, New York-based Capri Holdings (Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, Versace) will grow Versace's global retail network from about 188 to over 300 stores by 2022, with a particular focus on Asia. Capri, which just confirmed the $2 billion sales target for Versace, also plans to increase the Italian brand's accessory revenues from 35 to 60 percent.

Wannabe's Return. British shoe designer Patrick Cox, who rose to footwear fame in the 90s, is going to return to the fashion scene this fall with 30 new styles based on his iconic Wannabe loafer. Cox, who left his namesake brand in 2007 and moved to Ibiza in 2017, plans to keep his new venture small and manageable. For production and distribution, he has partnered with Six London.

Big little lies! In an effort to celebrate all body types, US sports giant Nike has put up plus-size and para-sport mannequins in its new women’s department at its flagship store in London. Although many praise the company for its quest for inclusivity, some criticize (paywall) the fact, that the brand's extremely corpulent mannequins trivialize the high risks of obesity.


Walmart's repreve. US retail giant Walmart is phasing out its iconic blue employee vests, replacing them with grey styles with neon-colored trim and decor so customers can spot (press release) associates from every angle. Made of Repreve, a fabric developed from recycled bottles, these vests reflect the trend for larger pockets, allowing employees to store all needed equipment.


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