Welcome back to The Spin! Today's issue puts a strong focus on power moves. Companies in the US and Europe are reshuffling their leadership, aiming to put decision making into the hands of experts with long track records. Meanwhile, Amazon has launched its first collaboration with a large athletic brand in Germany. Over in the US, churches continue to move into large, empty retail spaces at troubled malls. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Cheers, Ulrike


Puma leaps to Amazon. In cooperation with German sports giant Puma, Amazon Fashion has launched (translated by DeepL) the Care of by Puma sportswear label, which is sold exclusively on Amazon’s European and North American websites. The line, which is based on consumer feedback and customer reviews at Amazon Fashion, includes shoes and apparel for men and women. Although Amazon has already cooperated with J. Crew in the US, this is the online giant’s first cooperation with a large fashion brand in Germany.


Lord of Le Tote! Following its $100 million Lord & Taylor purchase, the rental platform Le Tote plans to bring its on- and offline tech experience to the US department store chain. Originally, Le Tote spoke to L&T about shop-in-shops. Then the discussion moved to technology, like subscription and rental services as well as Le Tote’s consumer quiz, which gathers personal information for better product recommendations. A fusion of the two concepts would also expand both companies' consumer bases.

Round and round. As Ascena Retail Group discusses the sale of its plus-size fashion retail chains Catherines and Lane Bryant, the trend-driven US plus-size fashion brand ELOQUII has teamed up with New York-based media platform Refinery29 to launch a new large-size line, Weekender. The crowd-sourced collection is the result of two years of research, surveying more than 1,000 plus-size women.


Out of eBay. Amid a strategic and operational review at eBay, President and CEO Devin Wenig is stepping down. Since January, activist investor Elliott Management Corp has been urging (press release) the online platform to sell assets and buy back shares. While eBay searches for its next leader, Senior Vice President and CFO Scott Schenkel will take on Wenig’s responsibilities as interim CEO. Shareholders are not happy, sending the stock down in after-hours trading.

From Sephora to Athleta... Mary Beth Laughton has been named president and CEO at Gap Inc’s sports brand Athleta. Laughton, who most recently held the position of executive vice president for omni-retail at US cosmetics chain Sephora, has also worked for Nike in the past. At Athleta, she succeeds Nancy Green, who has been promoted to president and chief creative officer at Gap Inc’s Old Navy brand. Laughton is supposed to build up Athleta for its ongoing competition with Canadian rival Lululemon.

...from Atelier Gardeur to Hiltl. German pant specialist Hiltl has named (translated by DeepL) Gerhard Kränzle its new CEO, effective January 1, 2020. Kränzle was most recently shareholder and chairman of the management board at Atelier Gardeur. He takes over from Andreas Wölfer, who will move into Hiltl’s advisory board, and is supposed to continue the growth strategie together with COO Carsten Schreiter (in German).


Like a prayer! As malls scramble to fill empty store fronts, former retail spaces are being taken over by various religious organizations. The trend dates back to the 1990s, when a Southern Baptist church bought an entire mall in Lakeland/Florida, now named Church at the Mall, and continued throughout the years. One of the more recent openings is the Christ Fellowship church in a former Dillard’s department store in Florida’s Boynton Beach Mall, with more expected soon….


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