Weekly News Brief
IN THE WORLD OF RETAIL
Things are still not looking good. Neiman Marcus has abandoned talks of selling the company to suitor Hudson's Bay, meaning the department chain will have to figure alternative solutions to deal with its billion-dollar debt. This is unsurprising, given that Hudson's Bay is facing some restructuring of its own, laying off 2,000 jobs for some serious savings. Not to be left out of the unpleasant mix is Ascena Retail Group, who has announced the closure of 250 retail stores by 2019 after a poor third quarter performance.
Doom and gloom all around. Coincidentally, we've just released the first feature of our Expert Series. Click here to read more about what retail leader and President of Bacarrat USA's business, Jim Shreve, has to say about the problems and solutions for the industry.
AS FOR LUXURY FASHION...
They are not faring any better, with their turnaround strategies being in a hit-or-miss situation with more misses than investors would like. At the top of the list this week is J.Crew, who has announced plans to close more stores and lay off 200 employees after 11 consecutive quarterly declines.
Lanvin is also struggling to keep its head above water, with sales continuously falling (32% in the first two months of 2017) as collections fail to resonate with consumers. And the verdict on Mulberry's success remains to be seen, as the brand released improved domestic sales but with international sales still lagging behind.
Great men dream big. Alibaba Group founder, Jack Ma, recently shared with investors his goal of making Alibaba the world's fifth largest economy by 2036. Already the tech giant is en-route to achieve US$1 trillion in gross merchandise volume in 2019, which would rank the company as the world's 17th-largest economy. Within 19 years' time, Alibaba aims to serve two billion customers worldwide, create 100 million jobs, and have 10 million profitable businesses on their e-commerce platform. Staggering numbers indeed.
According to Business Insider, ad dollars from luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci are shifting away from traditional print adverts towards digital channels, increasing by 63% since 2013. This is in response to how people are primarily consuming content through digital platforms. Luxury brands should tap on social advertising and mobile advertising as the prime avenues to capture consumer attention.
On the topic of digital, a recent report by SMERush named Asos, H&M and Macy's as the top three global fashion sites by their amount of web traffic. For the full list of the top 25, you get it here via WWD.
☀️ THIS WEEK'S BRIGHT SPOT ☀️
Exciting times are ahead with Conde Nast's and Farfetch's new partnership, which would redirect all of Style.com's traffic to Farfetch. This will pitch Farfetch both sartorially and editorially with Net-a-Porter, and you can see how they stack up against each other in this comparison by Glossy. Adding to speculations that Farfetch could IPO at $5 billion, methinks these two are gearing up for a big showdown.
Now I have to digress. Calling all hardcore Audrey Hepburn fans! Christie's is going to auction off the starlet's personal wardrobe in an online and physical auction. Time to check how deep your pockets are!