Welcome back to this new edition of the Spin. Today, Hudson's Bay is again on the front page with its disappointing first quarter results. We also keep an eye on Alibaba's prospects which could raise as much as $20 billion on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Then, we observe the game of musical chairs in the fashion industry. The winners of this round time are Scotch&Soda and Carven. Enjoy the read. Best, Caroline.


Divestiture's reason. The Canadian retail chain of Hudson's Bay posted a 2.1% decline in comparable sales for its first quarter. Three days after announcing a deal to divest of its European operations and take HBC private, investors can witness the company's struggle to remain competitive. Revenues fell to C$2.12 billion from C$2.19 billion last year. Comparable sales of Hudson's Bay stores in Canada drop 4.3%. Fortunately, its Saks Fifth Avenue branch registered a 2.4% rise in same store sales.

The second cave. The Chinese online giant Alibaba has filed (paywall) for a secondary Hong Kong listing that could raise as much as $20 billion. Alibaba is currently listed on the New York Stock Exchange and has a market cap of $417 billion. Nevertheless, this new infusion of cash could help support its war against Meituan Dianping in the business of food delivery and travel. Another advantage: the Hong Kong listing would tighten its ties with Beijing.

Merging time. Walmart, the number one chain of hypermarkets in America, is merging Jet.com teams into the rest of its digital business. Walmart, which bought Jet.com for $3.3 billion in 2016, has learned a lot from the startup. Marc Lore, the founder of Jet.com, and now the CEO of Walmart's virtual activities, presided over a 40% e-commerce growth in 2018, but Jet.com has since disappointed. According to digital intelligence firm Jumpshot, transactions on the site are down by 56%.


McCartney's alumnus. Scotch&Soda has poached its new CEO, Frederick Lukoff from Stella McCartney. The 49 year old Dutch executive, who spent 10 years at the helm of Stella McCartney, will join the Amsterdam based fashion retailer in September. Frederick Lukoff has also had senior roles at Lanvin, Paco Rabanne and Courreges. He will be replacing Dirk Jan Soppelenburg, who has been named (paywall) chairman of the board of Scotch&Soda.

Sports master. Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof has promoted (in German, translated by Google) Stefan Weiß to the newly created position of Chief Sales Officer of Karstadt Sports to grow in that field. Stefan Weiß has worked (press release) for Karstadt Sports and Karstadt Warenhaus before, holding senior positions in Sport Scheck from 2009 to 2016. He directed 6 Karstadt Sports branches since 2017. "We are gaining a proven connoisseur of sports retailing" says Jens Dunkel, CEO of Karstadt Sports.

French touch. The Chinese Icicle group, owner of Carven, has named Daphne Cousineau general manager of that French house. She reports to Shawna Tao, Carven's CEO. Daphne Cousineau was president of Balenciaga in Europe, Middle East and Africa. She has also worked at Celine, Valentino and Lanvin. Her arrival at Carven marks the first major initiative of Icicle, since the Chinese company acquired the troubled house in October. Daphne Cousineau's mission: relaunch the brand.


Hope for the Queen of knits. Sonia Rykiel has (in French) a better chance to survive. The court weighing the bids for the struggling French brand extended its deadline for offers and has received (paywall) ten proposals, double the initial number. Prospective buyers hail from Europe and Asia. The court will reveal its decision in July. Sonia Rykiel, known as the Queen of knits, had sales of €35 million in 2018 and a €20 million loss. The owner First Heritage Brands dismissed its creative director Julie de Libran in March.


Over-built retail. Francesca's , the struggling Houston based apparel retailer, plans (press release) to shutter at least 30 stores among 722 locations in the coming months. The company, essentially present in malls, had sales of $87 million in the first quarter, a 13% decline year over year. Its operating loss widened to $9.7 million. Coresight Research statistics reveal that the 7215 store closures in the US have already surpassed those announced for the entire year of 2018.


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