Daily Links

1. One Year on, Has the Pandemic Taught the Fashion Industry Sustainable Lessons? The hope is that brands will rethink their relationships with their factories and change their purchasing practices – the way they negotiate and mercilessly drive down contracts with factories. – Read More on Vogue

2. Billionaire Fungs Weigh Sale of Luxury Bagmaker Delvaux: Hong Kong billionaire brothers Victor and William Fung are exploring selling their stake in Delvaux, a 192-year-old Belgian luxury leather bagmaker, people with knowledge of the matter said. – Read More on Bloomberg

3. Another rumored deal in the making? The LVMH-affiliated L Catterton is said to be looking to add Etro to its growing roster. While the Etro family has long denied interest in selling its namesake company, on Monday it said it was “evaluating possible partnerships,” as sources say it has tapped Rothschild as its adviser. – Read More on WWD

4. Defeated Amazon union campaign could still spur more labor activism in Big Tech: Big Tech companies are likely to see more organized labor initiatives from blue- and white-collar employees, despite a recent failed effort to form a union at an Amazon.com Inc. warehouse in Alabama, labor experts say. – Read More on S&P Global

5. From Gently Used Nikes To Rapper-Backed Reeboks, Footwear Moves to Find New Feet: At the heart of Nike’s makeover are materials, which the company says account for 70 percent of its carbon footprint, and are at the foot of its push to accelerate research and development around sustainable materials and finding low-carbon alternatives to market at scale. – Read More on PYMNTS

6. RELATED READ: Companies are Pushing for Circularity and Raising Legal Questions in the Process. Nike revealed that as part of a new “Refurbished” initiative, it will take “like new (maybe worn for a day or two before being returned), gently worn (a little longer) and cosmetically flawed (think: something like a small snag that happened in manufacturing)” sneakers that consumers return, “tidy them up,” and sell them at a number of its stores across the U.S., alongside brand-new wares. – Read More on TFL

1. Fashion industry evolves, as virus forces a rethink: “Brands have been deciding more and more when their optimal time to show is… They want to control their business more and that is their right.” – Read More on AP

2. Luxury Brands Are Betting Their Future on China, But it May Be a Risky Gamble: “China’s become a ‘honey trap’ for luxury businesses. Ever since the crisis of 2008, that was the place where most of the growth was for luxury brands, but once you are totally focused on one market, the result is you neglect other key markets that have a different approach to luxury, like the U.S. and Europe.” – Read More on Forbes

3. What the Fashion Industry Can Learn From Apple: “We make these devices; people use them; they oftentimes re-sell or pass them on for a long lifetime after the first lifetime. They’re made to last. They’re high quality.” – Read More on ELLE

4. RETRO READ: Is Apple a Luxury Brand? Well, That Depends on Your Definition of Luxury.  “If change is happening at Apple, it … seems like it’s moving from high-end electronics company to something more like a luxury fashion brand, moving away from focusing on user experience and magnificent industrial engineering as driving forces, and moving toward a company that offers trendiness, status, and individuality first, then nailing down the mechanics of the things.” – Read More on TFL

5. E-commerce pioneer Wenzel launches “Amazon on steroids.” German entrepreneur Ralf Wenzel, formerly of Delivery Hero and Softbank is launching a global rapid delivery retail platform, entering a field that is attracting huge investment and experiencing explosive growth. – Read More on Reuters

6. Video calls, personal shopper services, making sales on social media – pandemic forces luxury brands into “distance selling.” The pandemic has forced luxury goods companies to use social media, video and virtual showrooms to woo their wealthy customers in Europe and keep them shopping at a time when tourists, especially from China, have been absent for more than a year. – Read More on SCMP

1. It’s Time to Retire the Idea of Women’s Watches: Making watches unisex is a smart business decision. First, they would be catering to 100 percent of their customers. Not 45 percent or 55 percent, but all of us. This would allow them to use their marketing dollars in joint campaigns showing both men and women wearing their products. Fashion scions like Gucci are already launching un-gendered apparel collections. – Read More on Bloomberg

2. Four ways consumer spending will change once more people are vaccinated: Young consumers are spending money on post-Covid purchases, such as apparel and handbags, and they’re also more eager than other generations to interact with people outside of their household. – Read More on CNBC

3. As China increases control, what’s the future of Hong Kong fashion? “It seems to be a very natural development for local brands to embrace what’s going on in Hong Kong and to be inspired by the [pro-democracy] movement. But it all depends on a few factors: whether they rely on the Chinese market for businesses, what their brand values are and how they approach this sensitive matter.” – Read More on i-D

4. Will Crypto Be Regulated? The BitMEX Case Could Bring Laws to Bitcoin Regulators as well as Wall Street are stepping in to remake the crypto industry as the value of Bitcoin surges. It recently traded at more than $60,000, up from about $7,000 a year ago. – Read More on Bloomberg

5. U.S. Economy Ramps Up on Spending Surge, Hiring Gains: The gain in consumer spending—the biggest driver of economic activity—came as the government began distributing hundreds of billions of dollars of stimulus funds to households. It was the largest monthly gain since last May, during the initial recovery from lockdowns early in the Covid-19 pandemic. – Read More on the WSJ

1. Clean beauty is now a $1 billion business. Just ask Beautycounter: The Carlyle Group, which manages $246 billion in assets, is known for investing in consumer brands including Supreme and sneaker brand Golden Goose, which made big exits when they were acquired. – Read More on Fast Co.

2. Luxury Brands Are Helped By a Lack of Other Spending Options: LVMH has been well managed during the crisis. It took advantage of strong demand for its goods in Asia, where sales increased by 86% in the first quarter. The business renegotiated rents in its stricken travel-retail unit and spent on marketing when rivals trimmed back. – Read More on the WSJ

3. March retail sales are expected to have surged as consumers spent $1,400 checks: A multi-month burst of consumer spending is expected to kickstart an economy that is expected to boom this year. The strongest growth is expected in the current quarter, which some economists say could see gross domestic product growth of more than 10%. – Read More on CNBC

4. Is Your Brand Ready for Its Retail Media Moment?  If you’re a retailer with strong first-party data collection (and historical first-party data), a path to monetization has been cleared for you. When you put those two things together, you see why retail media is booming. – Read More on AdWeek

5. RELATED READ: As Consumer Data Becomes Increasingly More Valuable to Companies, Is it Time for a Comprehensive U.S. Privacy Law? Consumers want better protection for their data, and businesses want clear national laws instead of 50 different state standards. Yet there is virtually no consensus about what a broad privacy law should entail. – Read More on TFL

1. Amazon sellers slammed with pandemic-induced supply chain constraints: Consumer demand remains the main driver of global logistics industry growth, with U.S. seaborne imports of leisure products climbing 168.3% in March 2021 versus March 2020 and home furnishings imports rising 136.5% during that period. – Read More on S&P Global

2. To Avoid Brexit Disruption, JD Sports Seeks EU Warehouses: A new 65,000 square-foot site near Dublin will become operational later this year and the company said it’s looking for another even larger facility in mainland Europe to avoid duties and disruptions from customs checks. – Read More on Bloomberg

3. RELATED READ: Companies Consider Destroying Returned Goods to Avoid New Cross-Border Costs, According to BBC Report. “Since January 1, [UK residents] buying goods from the EU – and vice versa – have faced import charges,” with the new rules putting “thousands of specialist online businesses at risk as consumers” – i.e., the importing parties – “on both sides of the Channel balk at having to pay the hefty import fees.” – Read More on TFL

4. Defining a Post-Pandemic Channel Strategy: Shoppers who pick up online orders in store spend more — up to 25% more in some studies. About a third of clothing ordered online is returned versus 8% bought in-store, and customers who try clothing on in an in-store fitting room are almost 7x more likely to buy than those who search on the web. – Read More on HBR

5. The Future of High Heels Looks Wobbly—at Least for Now: Many women had already been moving away from heels pre-Covid with the growing casual-fashion trend. The pandemic accelerated that shift. – Read More on the WSJ

6. Retailers look to innovate and tempt customers back to physical stores: For some time now, retailers have tried to attract customers by creating experiences in store, but they now need to get creative as shopping habits change and customers become more demanding. – Read More on CNBC