Jun
 13
 2019



Christopher

Hello,

Welcome to a new edition of The Spin. UK's Arcadia Group has been rescued from bankruptcy in a last-minute deal and Zara's parent is boasting some outstanding numbers. An organization of CEOs is pushing for more diversity and inclusion in the workplace and Ralph Lauren Corp is heeding their advice (and going green). Enjoy the read! Best, Christopher



retail

Ixnay on administation. Arcadia Group had its financial rescue plan approved by creditors yesterday and thereby has avoided having to file for bankruptcy and putting more than 17,000 jobs at risk. The group, run by Sir Philip Green and the parent company of Topshop and Dorothy Perkins among others, will now close 50 stores and let go 1,000 employees instead and pay significantly lower rents on many of its remaining 520 locations in the UK. While the deal is clearly a badly needed life preserver from the landlords who agreed to it, many analysts say that the company's battle for survival has only just begun.



Breaking records. Another retail behemoth, Inditex, also had good news: its net sales in Q1 2019 rose 5 percent to reach an all-time record of €5.93 billion and net profit for the period rose 10 percent to €734 million. The Spanish conglomerate said the positive results came in part from its recent online expansion of Zara into markets such as Brazil, Morocco and Saudi Arabia. Zara's webshop will launch online in nine more new countries including South Africa and Kuwait this fall.





brands

Rectifying Ralph. Ralph Lauren Corp has just vowed to be both more sustainable and more gender-diverse by 2025. Its new Design the Change strategy, announced yesterday, pledges to only use sustainably sourced key materials by 2025 and to train its creative teams on topics such as the need for sustainable and culturally exclusive designs. In addition, the company is aiming to have an equal balance of female and male executives who are vice president or above by 2023 and a 25 percent increase of female factory managers by 2025.



In good shape. Athleisure giant Lululemon continues to be an a good roll. Its Q1 results, released yesterday, beat analysts' expectations by more than $25 million and caused the company to raise its full-year guidance. Lululemon, which will soon launch sneakers, aims to double its men's and digital businesses and quadruple its international revenues over the next five years.



Turning Japanese. Nearly 50-year-old Italian leather goods brand Il Bisonte is now owned (paywall) by Look Holdings Inc, which has served as its Japanese distributor and licensee for more than 20 years. Palamon Capital Partners, a private equity company, bought Il Bisonte in 2015. The label, which had annual revenue of €40 million last year, is available at 400 stores worldwide and is now valued (press release) at €100 million.





markets

Making Mexico mad. The Mexican government is not happy with designs in Carolina Herrera's Resort 2020 collection and has officially accused the brand of cultural appropriation. Mexico's culture secretary sent letters both to Herrera herself and new creative director Wes Gordon complaining that some of the patterns and materials used in the pieces are unique to certain indigenous groups there and that these communities should benefit from their use. The brand has also received heat for using all white models for its campaign for the collection.



Call for action. CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, an organization of CEOs that just turned two years old, is ramping up its efforts to make the workplace and boardroom more heterogenous (a la Ralph Lauren's new pledge). The group of more than 650 executives wants all companies to commit to having a diversity and inclusion strategic plan and it is currently visiting some US fashion and other companies with a program (paywall) called Check Your Blind Spots that aims to stop people from being biased when hiring.





people

RIP Caren Pfleger. Caren Pfleger, a German model-turned-designer, has died (paywall; translated by Google) at age 77. She had battled breast cancer for the last four years, passed away on May 11 and was buried in secret on May 22. The news of her death (in German) was finally made public this week. She began her career in the 1980s, was best known for her business suits for women and owned 49 fashion stores worldwide.







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