Welcome back to The Spin! The week continues with another slew of insolvencies and store closures, both in the US and Germany. Online giant Amazon is under the microscope again, this time for its Amazon Choice recommendations. And a social and environmental organization plans to bring down London Fashion Week. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Another one... In the coming weeks, US retailer Avenue is going to close its entire store network. Specialized in plus-sizes, the New Jersey-based company operates about 260 locations across the US. Individual closures are already under way. The fate of Avenue’s online operation is still unclear. Coresight Retail estimates US store closures to reach 12,000 this year.


...bites the dust. German retailer Peacock Moden filed for insolvency, citing (paywall; translated by Google) liquidity bottlenecks due to payment defaults by business partners. Peacock operates 14 own and eight franchise stores in Germany. Talks are underway to pre-finance the insolvency funds. For now, the salaries of the company’s 111 employees are secured (in German).

Department store dilemma. As US department stores continue to struggle, large luxury brands put more focus on their own stores as well as innovative partners like the online rental and online styling services. Prada, for example, aims to reduce sales from wholesale accounts from 20 percent to just five percent within the next few years. As a result, concession fees for retailers have started to come down from a high of about 30 percent.


East meets West. Mirroring the development in Western countries, Chinese department stores have begun to suffer from increased competition by online platforms like Alibaba. To combat slowing traffic, they too are betting on service, convenience and entertainment. Meanwhile, Japanese vendors are feeling the absence of big-spending tourists from China and South Korea. Some try to reverse the trend by increasing cross-border eCommerce.


Asking Amazon. US retail giant Amazon, which has been accused of surveilling competitors’ pricing to punish sellers offering lower prices on other sites, has to answer two high-profile Senate Democrats on how its “Amazon’s Choice” recommendations work, implying that they might be manipulated by fake reviews.


Bold blazers. Brøgger, Cecilie Bahnsen, Ganni and By Marlene Birger were among the top ten labels that showed their Spring 2020 collections at Copenhagen Fashion Week (August 6-9). Among attending editors’ favorite street style looks are bold prints and tie-dyes, elegant bicycling looks - and a slew of cool blazers and suits.

Creative cross-over. British shoe designer Tabitha Simmons just designed her first handbag. In addition to shoes, the 18-piece Coach x Tabitha Simmons capsule collection includes several new interpretations of a 1973 cross body style. Meanwhile, shoe designers Loeffler Randall are getting into ready-to-wear, Allbirds just launched socks, and German women’s shoe label Gabor plans (paywall; translated by Google) to add men’s footwear for fall 2020.


London stalling. To raise awareness of the fashion industry’s contribution to climate change and environmental damage, Extinction Rebellion (XR) protesters plan to create “chaos” during London Fashion Week, which is scheduled to run from September 12-17. Among the planned actions is a funeral for the event to symbolize the death of the status quo.


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