Aug
 07
 2019



Caroline

Hello,

Welcome back to this new edition of The Spin. Barneys New York, the century old luxury retailer is declaring bankruptcy. Meanwhile Canadian Investment firm Catalyst Capital tries to derail HBC's plan to go private and its ex subsidiary in Germany, Galeria Kaufhof hits its own snag. It is difficult to equalize wages with Karstadt. In other sad news, Alla Verber, the Tsarina of Russian fashion, quits the fashion show circuit. Read carefully. Best, Caroline.



markets

So long Barney's. It is now official: the trendy luxury retailer Barneys New York has filed for bankruptcy protection. The almost century old icon couldn't survive the doubling of the rent on its flagship in New York coupled with shifts in consumer behavior. Barneys is competing (paywall) with brands that are now establishing direct relationship with customers. While looking for a buyer, the company is closing 15 stores. Its executives hope to save 5 flagships in New York, San Francisco, Boston and Beverly Hills.


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Booming online retail. The British online retailer Boohoo is buying the online business of Karen Millen and Coast for £18.2 million. The two troubled chains had been put up for sale by their Icelandic owner, Kaupthing bank in June. Boohoo will develop the 2 brands online but it doesn't acquire their 32 British stores and 177 concessions. Eleven hundred jobs are in jeopardy. The rapidly growing Boohoo was founded 14 years ago in Manchester. It has 13 million customers globally.



Troubles at HBC... Richard Bakers's bid to take the Canadian HBC (Hudson's Bay Co) private is meeting resistance. Private equity investment firm Catalyst Capital group is offering to buy 10.75% of the retailer's shares for $200 million. If successful, Catalyst could block (paywall) Richard Baker's project. Catalyst Capital leaders say that the Baker's offer "greatly undervalues" the parent company of Saks Fifth Avenue, Hudson's Bay, Lord and Taylor and Saks Off 5th.



...more troubles at Kaufhof. When HBC Canadian leadership decided to sell its Galeria Kaufhof department stores in Germany to the Austrian Signa group, chairman Richard Baker anticipated a smooth merger between Karstadt and Kaufhof. Nevertheless, the negotiations with the Verdi union are hitting (paywall; translated by Google) a snag: employees at the two department stores have different pay scale. If they don't find an agreement to equalize wages, threatens Signa, Kaufhof employees will suffer (in German) an 11% reduction in pay.





people

The Tsarina's last hurrah. Alla Verber, the icon of the Russian fashion industry has died (paywall) suddenly at the age of 61, while on vacation in Italy. She had an allergic reaction to seafood. The vice president of the Mercury group helped modernize department store Tsum in Moscow and DLT in St Petersburg. Often a front row fixture at European fashion weeks, she introduced Celine, Ralph Lauren, Brioni, Zegna, Tom Ford, Lanvin...to Russian consumers. She was the fashion industry's point of reference in her country.



So long partners. Ed Razek, the long time chef marketing officer of L Brands, Victoria's Secret parent company is officially retiring (paywall). Leslie Wexner, the L Brands CEO, sent a note to the employees relating the "so long partners" message that Ed Razek wrote. Victoria's Secret, still the dominant player in the American lingerie market, is struggling to reinvent itself in the #metoo era. Ed Razek,who began at Victoria's Secret in 1983, was (paywall) key in developing sexy lingerie campaigns for the brand.



The underwear veteran. The Israeli apparel company Delta Galil snatched the new president of its mass market division from its Canadian competitor Gildan. Steve Moore has accumulated (paywall) 25 years of retail experience at Gildan, Hanesbrands, Kmart and Sara Lee. It was his "intimate understanding of branded and private label apparel" that attracted the CEO of Delta Galil Isaac Dabah. The $1.5 billion company sells licensed products along with its own brands.





last

Big cats frenzy. The leopard print midi skirt is in evidence (paywall) everywhere this summer. We are, naturally, familiar with animal prints, but it seems that the trendsetting online retailer Realisation Par found a new way to showcase the beast and copycats multiplied at retailers like Zara, Topshop, Forever 21...The silky leopard skirt is sexy but not too sexy and is flattering to all types. Remember Mrs Robinson's leopard coat in the Graduate movie...







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