Welcome back to The Spin! Amazon is in the spotlight again, this time for selling products that are unsafe, banned and/or don't comply with regulations. We also tell you, why a $15,000 handbag might still be priced too low, and which brand's rubber sandals shrunk several sizes when they were forgotten in an overheated automobile... Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Dirty deals. According to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal, Amazon has been freely selling more than 4,150 products that are either falsely labeled, banned or declared unsafe by federal agencies like the FDA and UL. A large number of the offending items were listed under the Amazon Choice label, and over 150 explicitly identified by Amazon as banned from its site. Amazon already responded by sharing information about its safety program and providing contact information for customer complaints.


David vs. Goliath. Meanwhile, over in Germany, the owner of the New Yorker fashion chain plans to sue (paywall; translated by Google) Amazon again. Friedrich Knapp claims that his company checked out purchases at Amazon, which do not comply with Germany’s Textile Labelling Act and are therefore not marketable. In a second step, they plan to test the items for harmful substances. In the past, New Yorker already prevailed (paywall; translated by Google) in a dispute with Amazon regarding counterfeits on its marketplace.

Gerry Weber's day in court. On September 18, the Bielefeld Local Court will hold a vote (press release) for Gerry Weber’s two insolvent businesses, International (GWI) and Retail (GWR), and let lenders decide on an insolvency plan for GWI, which is based on the takeover by Robus Capital Management and Whitebox Advisors. Both are expected to invest up to €49.2 million into the German fashion company. Following a capital cut, new shares would then go entirely to the two investors, excluding (paywall; translated by Google) existing shareholders.


Callous claims. Following a slew of controversial comments, the founder and CEO of US off-price retailer, Patrick Byrne, has resigned. According to his own words, he provided federal investigators unspecified documents about US President Donald Trump and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. While the company searches for a successor, Jonathan Johnson, Overstock board member and president of the company’s Medici Ventures subsidiary, will serve as interim CEO. Shareholders were pleased, sending the stock up.


What price is love? For extreme luxury consumers, a $15,000 Hermès handbag might still be priced too low. That’s because an item’s value - not a high price point - is the marker of luxury. Since extreme luxury stands for extreme value, the price is often insignificant and the value should hold. Simultaneously, high-priced brands that don’t offer underlying value will most likely not succeed in the long run…

Focus on function. The global market for functional apparel will grow from $99 billion in 2018 to over $280 billion by 2026. According to a new report by Zion Market Research (which segments the market into categories like sportswear, outdoor apparel, inner wear, swimwear, socks and footwear as well as fabrics and finishings) functional apparel continues to increase in popularity due to the comfort and versatility it offers.


Message in a bottle. To appeal to environmentally conscious outdoor enthusiasts, Richmond-based Savage Apparel Co. has launched a clothing line made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles on August 1. According to Savage, about 17 plastic bottles go into the material for an M-size shirt. The finish includes antimicrobial ionic treatment, which in addition to increased freshness also happens to soften the material. By 2024, the US market for outdoor gear and apparel is expected to grow from $44.9 billion in 2019 to about $65 billion.


You can't make this shrink up! The Twitter sphere is blowing up with a post by Autumn_Kamrie, featuring a pair of Nike rubber sandals that shrunk into a kids’ size while heating up in her car. At press time, her tweet counted over 176.000 retweets and almost 800.000 likes - as well as countless comments including images of other melted items like Crocs and the suggestion to soak the dehydrated duds in water.


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