THE BIG BAD WOLF
Amazon: admired and feared in equal measures by retailers. Every move this e-commerce juggernaut makes sends executives scrambling to catch up, and Amazon's foray into fashion is one that everybody is watching closely. Techcrunch discusses exactly how Echo Look is just what Amazon needs to optimize the performance of its multiple in-house fashion brands to dominate basic clothing purchases.
The Verge also gives insight to previous endeavours by competitors that aimed to provide a similar 'style input' offering. Retailers Gap and H&M, as well as fashion tech companies like Epytom are included in the Fashion AI ranks.
IT'S LOOKING UP FOR...
Coach. The NYC-based luxury brand has seen a successful turnaround with the launch of Coach 1941 collection and the pullback from overly-promotional department stores. For the first time ever, Coach's premium handbags (with tickets of over $400 per item) made up more than 50% of handbag sales in North America.
Now, the company is looking forward to the next step: transforming into a multi-brand conglomerate in its own right via acquisitions. Speculated targets in their line of sight are Burberry, Kate Spade and Jimmy Choo. Someone's got some extra cash they're ready to burn!
IT'S NOT JUST AMERICA
In some situations, too much of a good thing can be disastrous. Check out the phenomenon of Chinese malls in South Africa as a prime example. First, Chinese traders came to fill a void for cheap goods (apparel, footwear, electronics and everything else under the sun) that South African locals could buy at accessible price points. But far too many have set up shop in Africa, to the detriment of the entire Chinese mall business as a whole. Now, many of the country's Chinese immigrants are thinking of packing up and heading home due to declining sales and a tougher competitive environment.
Me thinks that retail woes are, in fact, universal.
FIRST MONDAY IN MAY
So Twitter was buzzing all Monday night for the annual Met Gala, this time themed after Japanese avant garde label Commes des Garcons. To celebrate a fashion house known for breaking the rules and turning them upside down, A-list attendees gave their best effort (but perhaps in interpretations that may not seem obvious to the casual onlooker). New York Times gave a comprehensive review on the best and the worst of the night.
Once again, we drank wine and wrote all about that Met Gala fashion on our blog. From the spectacular to the unexpected, you might be scratching your heads as we did in regards to the glamorous confusion displayed on the Met red carpet. Go on and have yourselves a laugh!
☀️ THIS WEEK'S BRIGHT SPOT ☀️
Adidas is experiencing a revival, reporting higher than expected first-quarter sales and profits in U.S. and China, beating out rival Nike in sales growth for the first time in a long while.
Another piece of good news: the experts at Fung Global Retail & Technology say that home categories are expected to have higher sales growth than apparel and footwear categories. How did they know we're heading to Zara Home and H&M Home with our next pay check??