Daily Links

1. Retailers have started paying rent again but are still fighting with their landlords: Real estate experts say retailers are increasingly looking to pay rent as a percentage of sales, making it a variable expense on their balance sheets rather than a fixed one. Landlords, however, have resisted this type of structure in the past, as it makes it more difficult for them to predict future revenue streams. – Read More on CNBC

2. Louis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke: “If my job was just about selling handbags, I’d have burned out fast.” Louis Vuitton’s CEO on fur, race rows and the real reason that Louis Vuitton became a must-have for the super-rich. – Read More on the Telegraph

3. The 15 Percent Pledge Is a Mixed Blessing for Black Beauty Brands: For Black business owners—the least likely to receive bank loans and VC funding— the cost to be in retail (from inventory and marketing costs, plus the hefty cut of sales retailers charge) is a heavy burden, and a deal to supply a national chain can either make their business or tank it. – Read More on Bloomberg

4. Fashion Week Is Actually Happening—at Least in Paris and Milan: Brands are determined to relaunch an industry ritual that some designers say can’t be replicated online. The biggest houses usually mount spectacular fashion-week sets designed to dominate social-media feeds, with creative directors planning for the perfect Instagrammable moment. Brands closely monitor the attention their shows—and competitors’ shows—garner on social media, and analysts say that a strong showing during fashion week helps translate to market share. – Read More on the WSJ

5. Fashion’s dirty secret: how sexual assault took hold in jeans factories. After revelations of sexual violence in Lesotho garment factories, where jeans are made for brands such as Levi’s, workers fought for better conditions. But now Covid-19 has hit the fashion industry, those gains may be lost. – Read More on the Guardian

6. Fashion label Chanel issues bond linked to climate targets: French luxury label Chanel on Thursday raised a 600 million euro ($699 million) bond with clauses linked to its environmental goals, as firms in a sector under scrutiny from waste-conscious shoppers ratchet up green initiatives. – Read More on Reuters

1. Chinese demand for quality goods to see luxury industry spending rise by 30 percent as retail therapy takes hold: While the surge in luxury shopping on the mainland was initially chalked up to Chinese consumers being unable to travel overseas due to containment measures, it’s now clear that the strong demand is driven by more than a transfer of spending back home. – Read More on SCMP

2. Sneaker Platform Goat Group Raises $100 Million to Fund Expansion Plans: Goat Group, best known for its online marketplace for sneakerheads, has raised $100 million in a Series E funding round to further its expansion into new apparel and product categories, as well as its efforts to work with more brands to sell their products directly on its platform. – Read More on the WSJ

3. Fenty Fashion Has a New Managing Director: Bastien Renard, who worked for 19 years at Nike and Converse in Europe and in the U.S, “quietly joined the Paris-based fashion start-up in recent months.” Sources suggested Renard, a dynamic and agile executive adroit at all things digital and cutting-edge, could tweak the positioning of Rihanna’s luxury maison. Rihanna maintains the titles of founder, chief executive officer and artistic director of Fenty. – Read More on WWD

4. Louis Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquière Predicts the Future of Fashion: His creative confidence comes in part from his strong position at the helm of a European house, where the business of a brand is as important as its more artistic endeavors. The shift at Louis Vuitton, he says, is coming “more in the organization of things—meaning we’re not going to do big, huge collections anymore. We are going to do smaller collections that are dropped with a different rhythm.” – Read More on Vanity Fair

5. Many of Covid’s Biggest Retail Winners Don’t Sell Online: General discount stores will do well thanks to their “low prices and good value.” Cheap fashion retailer Primark, for instance, has increased its market share since Covid, despite not selling online. The Dublin-based retailer has a website that it uses just to showcase new arrivals and engage with consumers. – Read More on Bloomberg

6. Is the New Guards Group the New Guard of Fashion? “These people have a vision and know how to build communities and a dialogue with their audience. They create the conversation, then we transform those conversations into products, from streetwear to elsewhere.” But whether the group’s trend-focused cutting edge brands will have as much longevity in a severe recession as some market rivals who have survived for generations on a foundation of timelessness and tradition like Hermès and Chanel is unclear. – Read More on the New York Times

7. Amazon launches climate-friendly program to help shop for sustainable products: Customers will now see more than 25,000 products ranging from grocery, household, fashion, beauty and personal electronics with a ‘Climate Pledge Friendly’ label, Amazon said in a statement. – Read More on Reuters

1. Amazon Beats Walmart Again in Latest Showdown: As Amazon and Walmart each try to gain an edge or neutralize advantages seen in the other, the end result is that the two are becoming more like one other. How successful each is with these moves and countermoves will shape how their rivalry plays out for years to come. – Read More on Bloomberg

2. Nike’s sales almost return to pre-coronavirus levels thanks to digital growth: The athletic apparel reported that while it’s still not seeing the same in-store traffic that it was a year ago, it’s digital sales are up 82%, even as more than 90% of its stores were reopened. Nike’s benefitted from seeing a huge increase in downloads of its apps, which include its main Nike shopping app, Nike Train Club, and Nike Run Club. – Read More on Modern Retail

3. Can Luxury Fashion Ever Regain Its Luster? The industry is trying to reach customers amid a severe global recession that has brought mass layoffs and plunging sales. “Brands like Hermes and Chanel, who never discount, are less trend-led and, with product ranges that sell through multiple seasons, have emerged in particularly good shape.” – Read More on the New York Times

4. RETRO READ: How Do You Sell Luxury in a Recession? You Ditch the Logos. The shunning of seasonal, trend-specific wares during times of market discord goes beyond Gucci and in fact, such an aversion to non-classic accessories and trend-fleeting garments was demonstrated no better than by the success of Hermès and it’s staple leather goods throughout the recession. The 170-plus year old luxury brand and its $7,000-plus Birkin bags “was one of a handful of luxury brands that not only weathered the global financial crisis but thrived,” Newsweek asserted in 2010. – Read More on TFL

5. In China, Green Shoots For Luxury Spending To Prove Fragile? Online sales were up more than 13% in August, which is less than the nearly 19% that was seen in July. That may imply that at least some sales are shifting to brick-and-mortar locations. – Read More on PYMNTS

6. A new way of living and dressing: “We are no longer dressing to be seen. Our priorities have shifted to demand maximum comfort.” Case in point: On one day in March, menswear brand Band of Outsiders sold more than a 1,000 sweatshirts. – Read More on BBC

1. “It is all DTC now,” as VCs are eager to strike deals again. Consumer investors are starting to close deals again, while investors that had previously soured on DTC startups because of high customer acquisition costs are starting to change their tune, given the huge growth these companies have seen over the past six months. – Read More on Modern Retail

2. The rise of fashion rental: Owning clothes is so last year. Rental platforms have been the industry’s 2020 success story. Fashion rental relies on changing perceptions around sharing and second-hand goods – and renegotiating the concept of “new.” – Read More on the Guardian

3. Are Exotic Skins Out of Fashion? Before the coronavirus spread, brands like Chanel, Diane von Furstenberg and Mulberry were already dropping exotic hides, once inextricable from high fashion, because of animal-welfare concerns and other supply-chain issues. Amid the pandemic, the momentum has only grown. – Read More on the New York Times

4. RETRO READ: Gucci, Givenchy, Dior & Other Big Brands Are Name-Checked in New Report on the $20 Billion-Plus Illegal Wildlife Trade. Of the nearly 500 different seizure incidents that were recorded between 2003 and 2013 and highlighted in a recent study, 5,607 different products were confiscated by federal authorities, with nearly 70 percent of the illegal items being exotic leather products, including handbags, footwear, garments, belts and wallets, among other things, and more than half of the seized shipments coming from Italy, France, and Switzerland, though most of the animal products originally came from Southeast Asia. – Read More on TFL

5. Holiday Shopping During a Pandemic: Could the Coronavirus Be the Downfall of In-Store Black Friday? 52 percent of Americans planning to sit Black Friday out this year, the once-classic occasion that kicked off the holiday shopping season for U.S. consumers, with only 12 percent expecting to shop in-store. – Read More on Morning Consult

6. Walmart expands fashion focus with new private clothing label for men and women: The brand will debut this week online and in 250 stores, hoping to appeal to shoppers who want style and value, but Walmart must still prove its ability to navigate the world of fashion, where trends come and go and consumers can be fickle about sizing, fit and quality. – Read More on CNBC

7. Luxury Brands Must Avoid This “Easy Growth Trap.” Reducing prices is the easiest of all marketing measures and can be done in seconds. Because it is so easy, many managers feel it will not cause catastrophic harm, at least not in the short-term. But this could not be more wrong, especially for luxury segments. – Read More on Jing Daily

1. What Will It Really Take To Fix Fashion?  “The show we did in the desert for the Louis Vuitton cruise collection in 2016, with 350 people flying in for 48 hours? I personally think this is the end of these events,” declares Antoine Arnault, 43-year-old CEO of Berluti and chairman of Loro Piana. “Having this sort of repetitiveness, almost cult, of bigger, more people, crazier, is unhealthy for people and the planet.” – Read More on Vogue

2. TikTok and Instagram Face Off for Luxury Influencers: Luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Balenciaga are embracing TikTok, the world’s most-downloaded non-gaming app, where teen influencers capture followers by the millions with flashy dance routines and challenges. So, now Facebook Inc.-owned Instagram is betting its new Reels feature can help it stay relevant to sellers of the hottest handbags, shoes and watches. – Read More on Yahoo

3. Coronavirus and luxury retail: Shopping for used Hermes, Cartier in Covid era. An influx of the “supply of [pre-owned luxury] goods is likely because of Covid, above and beyond pre-Covid, as people no longer believe they have to hold possessions for an entire lifetime. … In Covid, people are broke so looking at their closet and thinking, ‘cash is hanging there.’”Read More on CNBC

4. As Catwalks Move Online, Luxury Brands Try to Keep a Human Touch:“With fashion, there’s a limit to how much can be replaced digitally. It’s a little easier for brands that we’re already familiar with, but for new brands, it’s important to see the collection in person, to touch and feel the clothes and build a relationship with the designer and their team.” – Read More on Bloomberg

5. How to survive the Covid-19 retail apocalypse: Millennial and Gen Z consumers are nothing but cost conscious – numerous studies show they are very cost conscious and almost always look for coupons and compare online. But they also value durability. Younger consumers prefer to pay a bit more for a product that lasts longer (better quality clothing rather than fast fashion, for example). – Read More on FT

6. How Covid Has Impacted Women’s Fashion Budgets This Fall: “I’m still shopping but not with the same frequency. Usually I would buy a new bag, but I haven’t. No new shoes. I’ve purchased more jewelry lately because if you’re doing Zoom calls, people can see your earrings, your hands, your necklaces.” – Read More on the WSJ