Welcome back to The Spin! After only two years in Europe, Canadian retail group HBC is about ready to pull the plug on its retail activities in the market. Over in the US, Neiman Marcus has to find itself a new CFO; Nike introduced an innovative self-lacing function that responds to Apple's Siri voice assistant; and Amazon's fashion etailer Zappos is encouraging its employees to learn to play a string instrument. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


The end of the affair. HBC's two-year-old Hudson’s Bay department store chain in the Netherlands is said to be on the brink of collapse. According to local media reports (in Dutch), HBC is going to close the highly unprofitable chain, which never hit the nerve of cost- and fashion-conscious customers, later this year. Fifteen stores and about 1,420 jobs are affected. This would completely end the group's activities in Europe.

NoLonger21. As reported, teen retailer Forever21 is considering to file for bankruptcy, and experts don’t expect the former go-to destination to survive. The Los Angeles-based chain’s myriad of problems include an inflated store network of 815 locations worldwide combined with a lack of relevant product of acceptable quality. In addition, efforts in eCommerce as well as sustainability remain poor, adding to the 35-year-old retailers' disconnect with its young customers.

BestSecret in Gateway Gardens. Munich-based online shopping club BestSecret has opened its first store in Frankfurt’s new Gateway Gardens neighborhood. Positioned (paywall; translated by Google) as an off-price department store, the 3500 m2 location offers womens and menswear, accessories and home goods at 20 to 80 percent off and a cafe. It only admits members (in German) with Gold or Silver status.


Indian expansion. Walmart-owned Flipkart has launched a partnership with Authentic Brands Group to license and distribute sportswear brand Nautica in India. In addition to online distribution, the project includes a network of franchisees which will manage Nautica's more than 40 stores. The Flipkart Group including sibling retail portals Myntra and Jabong currently handle around 65 percent of India’s online fashion sales.

Not for pussyfeet. As part of its FitAdapt technology, Nike has introduced a self-lacing function that responds to voice commands to Apple’s Siri. The Adapt Huarache’s mid foot motor has a gear train that can be controlled via Nike’s Adapt app - and the Apple Watch - and adjusts the lacing to a preset or individually desired tension. The app, which can also change the color of the Huarache’s LED lighting, will be used in all future Adapt products.


Power move. After less than 18 months on the job, Neiman Marcus CFO Adam Orvos is going to relinquish his position, effective October 11, to pursue an opportunity at another company. The Dallas-based luxury retailer is about to name a successor soon, while Orvos is available to lead the new CFO through the transition.

Inspiring criticism. Music mogul Jay Z’s new “Inspire Change” apparel and music premiere initiative with the Nation Football Association (NFL) is being slammed by Colin Kaepernick. The former NFL quarterback and political activist criticized it as an attempt “not to end oppression, but to transfer the oppressive apparatus into their own hands”.


Plucking with Zappos. Amazon-owned fashion etailer Zappos encourages its employees to pick up a musical instrument. As part of its Strum for the Sole (press release) program, Zappos has partnered with Scottsdale-based guitar brand Fender to allow staffers to learn playing guitar or bass via Fender's Play app.


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