Welcome back to The Spin! To expand last-mile delivery options, online retailers utilize their competitors' stores and even private homes as innovative pick-up and drop-off locations. We also tell you, why Nike pulled its "Independence Day" sneaker, and how a Canadian startup helps people lend each other clothes. Due to the 4th of July holiday in the US, The Spin is suspended this Thursday and Friday. See you again on Monday! Best, Ulrike


The Vanishing. It's become commonplace to blame Amazon for the problems of US retailers, but another factor may be the increasing pressure of rising costs and stagnant incomes, which chips away at customers’ buying power. And that, in turn, might be a first indicator of a fundamental economic shift that could result in the demise of the middle class. Younger shoppers are particularly squeezed financially, making them keen on discounts, clothing rentals and other cost-effective forms of dressing.


Joining forces. Following its pick-up and drop-off collaboration with Kohl’s, Amazon has announced a similar partnership with US discount chain Rite Aid. Under the program, Amazon customers can pick-up packages at counters of 1,500 Rite Aid stores in the US, giving the online giant many more physical touch points with consumers as it expands its last-mile delivery options. Meanwhile, Rite Aid experts to boost traffic at participating locations.

Last mile... To speed up the exchange process, New York-based online rental subscription service Rent the Runway has installed package drop-off boxes at three Nordstrom Local stores and a full-line Nordstrom flagship in Los Angeles, its fourth largest market. A pick-up option will be added this fall, giving customers the opportunity to try-on rentals before taking them home. Similar boxes are already in use at selected WeWork locations.

...revolution. Over in Denmark, German online retailer Zalando is offering private persons the opportunity to register (paywall; translated by Google) their homes as pick-up and drop-off stations for packages. In partnership with Scandinavian logistics company PostNord, the project will initially run for three months in parts of Aarhus and Copenhagen. So far, about 50 private individuals have signed on.

Escape from RealReality. As The RealReal is basking in its billion-dollar IPO, the resale site is being accused of marketing affordable designer collaborations as luxury products. One example is a Prabal Gurung dress from the brand’s collaboration with Target, which retailed at $39.90 and was listed by The RealReal for $165. When alerted, the site adapted the product description and lowered the price to $20, but the incidence is still a damper for a company that bases much of its raison d’être (paywall) on authenticity.


Surly symbolism. Following outrage by former NFL Quarterback and Nike spokesperson Colin Kaepernick, Nike has pulled the Fourth of July-themed Nike Air Max One USA retro sneaker with its vintage US flag design on the back. Right after, the style sold for over $2,000 on StockX before the resale site removed it as well. The flag design with its circular formation of thirteen stars has been used by extreme right-wing movements and is linked (paywall) to the US’s early history of slavery.


Leave it to Langer. After 22 years with Hugo Boss, Bernd Hake is leaving (paywall; translated by Google) his position of Chief Sales Officer to pursue a new professional challenge. According to the Metzingen-based company, the decision was made by mutual agreement. In future, the sales department will be headed by CEO Mark Langer. In addition to Langer, Chief Product Officer Ingo Wilts and Chief Financial Officer Yves Müller are also part of Hugo Boss’ top management.


Shared closets. Girls (and women) have borrowed clothes from each other for the longest time. Now there’s an app for that. Canadian start-up Reheart, which has already been dubbed the AirBnB of fashion, aims to help reduce the environmental impact of fast fashion by getting women to purchase less clothing overall, as it empowers them to save money by renting as well as profit by lending out their own pieces. The Toronto-based company launched with about 2,500 registered users and an inventory of more than 1,200 items.


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