Jul
 11
 2019



Christopher

Hello,

Welcome to a new edition of The Spin. The news this Thursday includes Hudson's Bay Company seriously looking into the possibility of going private, Superdry having a very bad year and two fashion companies receiving a nice chunk of change to fund their future expansion. And word to the wise: copying native Mexican designs will only land you in hot water these days! Enjoy the read and please share The Spin with colleagues and friends. Best, Christopher



retail

Path to privatization? Retail conglomerate Hudson's Bay Company has taken the first step in reviewing the offer made on June 10 by Richard Baker, its executive chairman and governor, to take the company private for about Canadian $1 billion. A special committee of the board has hired (paywall) Toronto-Dominion Bank to serve as an independent valuator of the plan along with Centerview Partners LLC as special adviser. Baker and his group say 57 percent of shareholders support the deal but the opposing side alleges that it undervalues the company. No time frame for the review was given other than "as promptly as practical."



Not so super. British monobrand retail chain Superdry released its yearly financial numbers yesterday and they were very poor indeed. The company lost £85 million last year – compared to a profit of £65.3 million the year before – and warned that further losses may be on tap for this year as well. Company founder Julian Dunkerton, who returned to Superdry in April after a lengthy disagreement with management, says he will turn things around in the next two years with new designs, less discounting, a newly designed website, a fresh marketing strategy and possible store closures in the UK and the US.





brands

IPO hangover. Levi's released its Q2 financials earlier this week and they were a bit of a mixed bag for the still newly publicly traded company. Although sales were up – especially in Europe and Asia and in womenswear – net profit fell 63 percent compared to Q2 the year prior. The jeanswear giant said the profit nosedive was due to costs such as underwriting fees associated with its March IPO. However one CNBC analysts warns that the downturn in profit does not bode well for Levi's and other apparel brands.



Cash injection I. British couture brand Ralph & Russo has £40.1 million more in its coffer thanks to a new minority stake investment by Tennor Holding, the owner of La Perla UK. According to the terms of the deal Tennor has the option to increase its stake to 40 percent down the line. Ralph & Russo, which is probably best known as the maker of Duchess Meghan's engagement-portrait dress, will use the money to expand internationally.





tech

Cash injection II. Unmade, a London-based software company that helps fashion companies including Selfridges and Opening Ceremony produce knitwear and printed items based on the actual number of customer orders rather than an estimate of what will sell, has just raised an additional £4.75 million. Octopus Ventures led the investment, which will help Unmade to expand globally and further develop its technology that allows brands to produce only what they need, thereby reducing fashion waste.





markets

No mas stealing! For the second time in less than a month, Mexico's Culture Secretary has called out a major fashion brand for cultural appropriation. After sending a letter to Carolina Herrera in June re her resort collection, Alejandra Frausto has now contacted Louis Vuitton over one of the chairs in its new furniture collection. It employs embroidery motifs that resemble traditional ones from the Tenango de Doria region. In response, Louis Vuitton has vowed to collaborate with the Mexican artisans on the collection.



Poor little rich folk. A newly released report by Capgemini says that the world's wealthiest individuals saw their collective net worth decline by $2 trillion last year, the first drop in seven years. The Chinese were the biggest losers and accounted for more than half of the decline in the Asia-Pacific region and more than one quarter of the worldwide one. High net worth individuals also took hits in Latin America, Europe and North America. However, those in the Middle East were immune to the downswing and saw their bank account balances grow by 4 percent.





people

Sued & hacked. For once it is not good to be industry darling Virgil Abloh. Earlier this week he and his Off-White brand were formally sued by OffWhite Co., a creative agency founded in the late 1990s, for trademark infringement. The agency claims the similar name has hurt its business and social media effectiveness. Then yesterday scammers hacked his Instagram account and tried to steal money from his followers by announcing fake sneaker drops. Abloh has since resolved the hack.







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