Daily Links

1. Fashion apparel makes a comeback, focus on digital deepens, and other 2021 predictions: Following a year when fashion dropped 25% to 40%, B. Riley team expects “fashion to make a comeback in 2021 as consumers get out,” with Revolve, Guess, Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters as reaping the most benefit among the companies they cover. – Read More on Retail Dive

2. Asian garment makers fashion united front to pressure Western brands: Manufacturers from the six nations that make most of the world’s clothes have forged a common front to negotiate better terms with Western fashion brands, whose cancelled orders devastated Asian garment workers early in the pandemic. – Read More on Reuters

3. China’s new fashion hubs rising as luxury brands look to cities like Chengdu and Hangzhou for millennials growing in wealth: With China’s top-tier cities like Shanghai and Beijing becoming saturated, luxury brands are increasingly targeting second- and third-tier cities for growth. Repeating the same strategies, however, won’t work – instead they need to do a deep dive into understanding local consumer culture. – Read More on SCMP

4. Retailers are exiting malls — and changing their store strategies: Retailers have been in the process of opening more off-mall stores for the past couple of years, trying to attract more regular customers, who are less interested in browsing the store and instead want to get in and out as quickly as possible. – Read More on Modern Retail

5. Lockdown, and a Crackdown on Discounting, Hurt Burberry’s Q3 Sales: The no-markdowns strategy is nothing new for Burberry, and has been a pillar of chief executive officer Marco Gobbetti’s strategy for the brand as he looks to cement Burberry in the luxury space. – Read More on WWD

6. Fashion at Biden-Harris Inauguration Showcases Commitment to American Designers: At Tuesday’s ceremony, the work of American designers ruled supreme, from President Joe Biden’s Ralph Lauren suit to Vice President Kamala Harris’s Christopher John Rogers purple outfit. Lady Gaga and J. Lo performed in more extravagant fashions from Schiaparelli Couture and Chanel. – Read More on the WSJ

1. Consumer sector M&A poised to rebound after 2020 slump: Large consumer companies armed with big cash stockpiles could propel a surge in M&A over the next 12 months as favorable monetary and fiscal policies and vaccine deployments increase the likelihood of an economic recovery. – Read More on S&P Global

2. How Shopify became the new retail empire: Shopify has been slowly growing, describing itself as a quiet no-nonsense back-end tool to help merchants grow their businesses. And over the last year it became an empire. – Read More on Modern Retail

3. Are ‘Luxury Mystery Boxes’ the Future of Discount Shopping? Upstart luxury liquidators like Heat and Scarce are offloading surplus clothing from labels like Off-White and Saint Laurent with a twist: The customers have no idea what they’re actually buying. But that’s not necessarily a problem since young shoppers often value a brand name even more than the item itself. – Read More on the WSJ

4. Peloton, Lululemon, Apple and others are betting the fitness-at-home shift is here to stay: Sales of health and fitness equipment more than doubled, to $2.3 billion, from March to October. Treadmill sales skyrocketed a whopping 135%, the group said, while sales of stationary bikes almost tripled. – Read More on CNBC

5. Personal Shopping Goes Mainstream, and Luxury Retailers Rejoice: “Four out of five times, a new appointment is for special occasions, but not in this environment,” Lisa Bruni Vene, managing director for luxury services at Saks, says. “The majority of our business comes from clients doing new wardrobes.” – Read More on Bloomberg

6. China’s rich spent $54 billion at home on luxury goods last year with coronavirus halting overseas trips: Sales of luxury goods in China soared 48 per cent last year to $53.5 billion with overseas travel virtually impossible due to the coronavirus. China’s 1.58 million high net worth families had an average annual household expenditure of $270,000 last year. – Read More on SCMP

7. Poshmark’s explosive IPO bodes well for the resale industry, but how sustainable is secondhand? There’s no evidence that people are replacing their new purchases with secondhand ones. They’re just buying more of both. – Read More on Fast Co. 

1. Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2021: Some consumers will simultaneously identify with the trends of revenge spending and thoughtful frugality, trading down on some items in order to be able to spend more on others. This “trading down to trade up” is an accelerating trend during the pandemic. – Read More on the WSJ

2. How Lingerie Became China’s Favorite Fashion Investment: Lingerie startups targeting China’s millennials and Gen Zers had an exceptional year in 2020. Digital bra labels have been the darlings of the Chinese fashion investment capital set these past few years. In 2018 alone, over $30.5 million of growth capital was poured into China’s digital bra startups. – Read More on Jing Daily

3. Birkenstock explores sale to private equity group CVC: CVC hopes to grow sales in new markets while capitalizing on the brand’s loyal customer base. Birkenstock made €721.5m in revenues and €129m in net income in the year to September 2019, a corporate filing shows. Net revenue was up 40% on the previous year. – Read More on the FT

4. China’s new fashion hubs rising as luxury brands look to cities like Chengdu and Hangzhou for millennials growing in wealth. “Legacy luxury brands will likely take the lead since their growth in top-tier markets is more or less saturated, but trendy luxury streetwear labels have huge potential too. Consumers in smaller cities sometimes feel less obligated to conform to the traditional perceptions and more likely to embrace new trends.” – Read More on SCMP

5. “There are no environmentally friendly companies.” Retailers are built on the concept of consumption, which makes positive impacts, especially on the environment, difficult to accomplish. – Read More on Retail Dive

6. Apparel Retailers Must Embrace Change in 2021: Retail supply chains need to be ready for sustained increases in digital demand. That means continuing to invest in streamlined and connected digital capabilities across the whole value chain, right through to fulfillment operations. It also means rethinking traditional “linear” approaches to the supply chain, evolving it into a more flexible supplier network that will increase the organization’s resilience to future disruption. – Read More on Yahoo

1. Barneys at Saks: Resurrecting a Luxury Legend: Tracy Margolies, chief merchant of Saks, characterized the Barneys project as part of the strategy of the past five years to elevate Saks, in her words, into the “fashion authority delivering the best choices and the best edit, any way customers want to get it.” – Read More on WWD

2. Sephora has a sweeping new plan for combating racism. But will it work? Sephora conducted a yearlong study measuring systemic racism in U.S. retail environments, and created an action plan that includes reducing third-party security in stores, doubling the number of Black-owned brands that it carries, and creating a zero-tolerance policy when employees discriminate. – Read More on Fast Co.

3. These Fashion Influencers Say “Don’t Buy Anything.” During a year when women have been the hardest hit by the financial crisis triggered by the pandemic—accounting for all 140,000 of the U.S. jobs lost in December, big-name influencers’ lavish content appears increasingly out-of-touch. Enter: a new breed who are presenting a more realistic approach to fashion. – Read More on the WSJ

4. Redefining sustainability for 2021: The new priorities. “No amount of ‘circular economy’ or other techno-fixes will be able to sustain the current volumes without sustained damage to Earth’s systems. The next years — maybe a decade, maybe less — will determine which brands fit into this new world in which we will produce and consume radically less.” – Read More on Vogue Biz

5. Stilettos out, sneakers in: luxury designer shoes continue to pivot as pandemic accelerates trends. “Brands such as Louboutin, Sergio Rossi, Jimmy Choo and Stuart Weitzman saw their sales for elegant shoes decrease” in 2020. “They’ve had to adapt to the market and develop sneakers and lower heels.” – Read More on SCMP

6. From skinheads to the stock market: how Dr. Martens went mainstream. Six decades after its chunky, lace-up boots were first sold, the British company is preparing to walk on to the London Stock Exchange early this year. Its valuation could hit £3 to £4 billion. – Read More on the FT

1. How Luxury Brands Plan to Reconnect With Local Consumers in Post-Covid 2021: In new markets such as South Korea, China and the UAE, local customers, who tend to be young, are proud of their recently made fortune. They want to show off both their status and their success. Thus, big logos are a must. They are also highly digitally savvy, so brands need to be where they are; across a sprawling variety of digital and social commerce channels. – Read More on Forbes

2. Primark vs Boohoo Becomes Case Study About Need for Online: Another difficulty Primark would have is that it relies much more than rivals on garments bought in Asia, which the chain buys in bulk to get lower prices and which it orders 6 months in advance. Online retailers like Boohoo offer smaller quantities of garments that are produced more locally, so they can adjust to quick swings in demand. – Read More on Bloomberg

3. How Dapper Dan went from fashion industry pariah to Gucci god: In the same way that sampling was rife in the music, so it was in hip-hop fashion: customised T-shirts and jackets were staples. Day’s ostentatious creations didn’t emulate, but rather amped up the luxury of existing labels, and he took to referring to them as “knock-ups” as opposed to “knock-offs”, saying he simply “blackenised” the brands. – Read More on the Guardian

4. RETRO READ: Dapper Dan – A Fashion Legend and a Fashion Outlaw. Day’s design tactics did not find him fans in the luxury brands he was channeling. “His clothes were emblazoned with the monograms of European fashion houses at a time when those companies — Gucci, Louis Vuitton — were mainly producing leather goods and accessories.” Eventually, the fashion houses caught on and Day’s boutique was being regularly raided by U.S. marshals. – Read More on TFL

5. Poshmark’s Stock Price More Than Doubles, Latest in String of Soaring IPOs: Shares of Poshmark opened Thursday at $97.50, according to FactSet, above the company’s initial public offering price of $42, and ended the day valued at $101.50. That better-than-targeted IPO price valued the company at more than $3 billion, up from a $1.25 billion valuation in 2019. – Read More on the WSJ