TGIF. In today's edition of The Spin you'll hear good retail news – a rarity nowadays – from Alibaba and Walmart, learn how Hudson's Bay Company is still mulling its acquisition offers and see how a famous Spanish store is courting Chinese clientele. The Kate Spade brand is still struggling and a luxury brand is the most popular one at The RealReal. Can you guess which one it is? Have a marvelous weekend! Best, Christopher


Still spending in China... Alibaba released its Q1 earnings yesterday and the super strong numbers showed that Chinese consumers are still opening their wallets despite the slowing economy there and the ongoing trade war with the United States. Compared to the same period last year, earnings were up 56 percent and revenue rose 42 percent. Meanwhile, Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai is said to be upping his stake in the Brooklyn Nets basketball team to 100 percent and also purchasing their home stadium, the Barclays Center, for more than $2 billion combined.


...and the US. US consumers are also still buying things – at least at Walmart. The retail giant released its Q2 numbers yesterday and they also beat forecasts and caused the company to raise its full-year outlook. Same-store sales rose 2.8 percent overall and it was the 20th consecutive quarter that the chain saw sales gains in the US.

Still sick (but getting better). JC Penney also released its quarterly report yesterday. And while still not good – net sales were down 9.2 percent and same store sales fell 9 percent – losses were "only" $43 million compared to $101 million in the same period last year. The store also said it will soon implement a new high-tech dressing room/styling service and start selling secondhand purses through a new partnership with resale site ThredUp, which announced a similar deal with Macy's on Wednesday.

So many offers, so little time. Yesterday Catalyst Capital Group upped its original, unsolicited offer to Hudson's Bay Company to buy 14.8 million shares at $10.11 per share to 19.8 million shares at the same price but kept the first offer's deadline (press release) – which is at 5pm today. HBC asked for an extension until September when it will have completed its formal valuation but Catalyst declined. A committee also has asked executive chairman Richard Baker if he intends to amend his $1 billion offer to privatize the company.

Donating, not dumping. In the wake of a news report and French documentary that exposed its wasteful ways (including destroying 3 million TVs in France in 2018) Amazon has launched a new program in the US and the UK that will donate excess third-party merchandise to charities rather than destroying it. The new initiative is called Fulfilled by Amazon Donations and will benefit groups such as The Salvation Army and Newline. It begins next month.

Chasing China. Spanish department store El Corte Inglés is making considerable effort to attract and keep Chinese customers. It recently signed a deal with Chinese marketplace Secoo to sell its childrenswear brands and also distributes via Alibaba there. On its home turf it welcomes more than 150,000 Chinese visitors each year by accepting Chinese payment systems, hosting in-store activations and reaching out to them via social media.


Spade slump. Same-store sales at Kate Spade fell (paywall) 6 percent in the fourth quarter rather than rising to the predicted 1.4 percent, which caused parent company Tapestry to lower its Q1 forecast yesterday and admit that a turnaround of the brand has yet to happen. It also said it will now cut back on opening new Kate Spade stores. Last year Tapestry hired designer Nicola Glass, formerly of Gucci and Michael Kors, to revitalize the brand.

Gotta have Gucci. Luxury reseller The RealReal has released its annual Resale Report of the most searched for brands on its site and Gucci tops this year's list. Louis Vuitton and Chanel were number two and three respectively. The site also reports a huge uptick in searches for sneaker and streetwear brands with Yeezy being the most popular in that category.


is a product
delivered to you by | Imprint