Daily Links

1. Companies Alter Design Processes to Meet Consumer Expectations During the Coronavirus: The pandemic has driven many companies to add product features sooner than planned or to create entirely new ones. Brands are adjusting to consumers’ changing needs in the pandemic, with some adopting a startup mentality to release new features fast or websites to retain customers and gain new ones in an uncertain economic environment. – Read More on WSJ

2. Luxury Billionaire Plots Rebound After Taking Biggest Virus Hit: LVMH’s Bernard Arnault has made a career out of investing through downturns when his competitors were too weakened or too skittish to forge ahead. The recession in the early 2000s saw him squeeze Prada Group SpA out of its shareholding at his newly-acquired Fendi brand. It was also when he launched the first luxury e-commerce emporium and built in Tokyo what was then Louis Vuitton’s biggest-ever store. – Read More on Bloomberg

3. RETRO READ: A Timeline Behind the Building of LVMH, the World’s Most Valuable Luxury Goods Conglomerate. “In the 90s, I had the idea of a luxury group and at the time I was very much criticized for it. I remember people telling me it doesn’t make sense to put together so many brands. And it was a success … And for the last 10 years now, every competitor is trying to imitate, which is very rewarding for us. I think they are not successful but they try.”– Read More on TFL

4. Mall owner Brookfield will spend $5 billion to save retailers: Its retail revitalization program will focus on taking noncontrolling stakes in retailers to assist them with their capital needs. Brookfield said it will be focused on funding retailers that were bringing in normalized revenue of at least $250 million pre-Covid-19, and that have been operating for at least two years. – Read More on CNBC

5. Indigenous Designers on What Sustainable Fashion Is Missing: “To truly be sustainable, you have to be small and produce less, which no business wants to hear, and I get it.” Being sustainable will soon be crucial to all industries, and it’s clear the mainstream fashion industry has a lot to learn. – Read More on Vogue

1. Gap Turns to Texas Market to Test Store Reopening Strategy: Gap Inc. will use Texas as an initial proving ground for reopening as the retailer emerges from an almost two-month shutdown of physical stores prompted by the coronavirus outbreak. Employees will wear face masks, registers will have Plexiglass partitions and signs throughout the store will remind everyone to follow social distancing measures. The retailer is also making curbside pickup available at 75 locations. – Read More on Bloomberg

2. Shape of post-COVID-19 retail: The physical locations that survive this extended pause will likely reopen with a focus on high-touch clienteling and luxury service, where shop visits are appointment-only or tightly controlled and restricted, and oriented around consumer experience rather than pure sales. – Read More on American Marketer

3. Retailers Canceling Apparel Orders Amid Coronavirus Torments Clothes Makers: Factories in Asia find few options in battling fashion companies making last-minute purchase changes because of falling sales, demonstrating  “the increasing leverage of fashion brands and retailers over garment factories, as the fashion business is becoming more buyer-driven.” – Read More on WSJ

4. Ray-Ban’s Owner Enters Crisis With Blurry Vision: A sales slump at the world’s biggest eyewear company hasn’t prompted feuding executives to put their differences aside. Yet, it is clearer than ever why French lensmaker Essilor and Italian sunglasses business Luxottica, which struck a troubled merger in 2017, are better off together. – Read More on WSJ

5. RETRO READ: Meet EssilorLuxottica, the Biggest Player in the Luxury Eyewear Game. To put the parties’ $50 billion merger in perspective, most of the industry’s eyewear – save for in-house manufactured glasses (and those are quite rare) – will now come from a single source, even more so than they already do. – Read More on TFL

1. The pandemic is yet to dampen demand for luxury goods resales: The pandemic is also catalyzing a shift towards buying and selling even the most exclusive goods digitally. The auction house has reported strong demand for online sales, with traffic over the course of March increasing by 16 per cent – a trend matched elsewhere. – Read More on the FT

2. Some retailers are too broke to go bankrupt: “We’re clearly seeing a lot of companies engage [bankruptcy] advisors. But it’s not a great time to file. A lot of companies are on hold because you can’t get the money you need coming in from liquidation sales.” – Read More on CNN

3. These 27 retailers could file for bankruptcy as pandemic roils the industry: From Neiman Marcus and Stein Mart to L Brands and Express, the COVID-19 crisis has significantly changed the risk calculus around retail, and that a whole new set of challenges for struggling retailers is likely setting the stage for a large wave of consolidation. – Read More on Retail Dive

4. Does anyone care about fashion anymore? For ‘influencers’ it’s a hot topic: It’s ironic in this case that influencers may be poised to capture more eyeballs than ever. With lockdowns in effect all over the world, people are spending more time on social media. In the first week of quarantine, Instagram Live views in Italy doubled, and Facebook usage has skyrocketed in the country by 70 per cent. Connecting with others—even through fashion—has offered an escape from all the death and economic chaos. – Read More on Macleans

5. Lord & Taylor to liquidate its stores as soon as they reopen, sources say: Its preparations to liquidate its inventory as soon as its stores reopen offer a window into the grim future of a high-profile retailer that does not expect to survive the pandemic’s economic fallout. – Read More on CNBC

1. The world is paying a high price for cheap clothes: “We consumers have a lot of power. I think we all know we don’t need 20 t-shirts. That maybe it’s better to pay a little bit more and have two t-shirts.” – Read More on CNN

2. Will brands need to reposition post-pandemic? brands need to adjust their narratives. Brand focus is not on the end customer, but on the communities to which they belong. Pre-crisis consumer-centric brand strategy is now society-centric strategy. – Read More on American Marketer

3. Your Company Needs a Proprietary Data Strategy:  Most companies focus only on their internal data, which is proprietary in a sense, but may not be a valuable asset unless further developed. Proprietary data will help brands create new products and business models, and make customer relationship enhancements. – Read More on HBR

4. Sustainability Was Corporate America’s Buzzword. This Crisis Changes That: “If the worst predictions for economic seizure prove true, many businesses will be worse off than in either 2001 or 2008. Those companies who retrench to starvation fundamentals almost certainly will freeze continued investment in impact and purpose for some period.” – Read More on WSJ

5. See the Costume Institute’s New (Though Postponed) Show About Time: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s latest major Costume Institute exhibition, which was supposed to open to the public this week, shows how fashion has changed in the last 150 years, how it’s stayed the same—and where it’s headed next. – See More on Vogue

1. The Next Frontier of Shopping Will Be Livestreamed:  As we all grow more accustomed to watching, working, talking and buying online, livestream shopping may prove to be the best way to reach consumers in a post-Covid-19 world. – Read More on Bloomberg

2. Global Brands Need China’s Consumers to Spend. They Might Have to Wait: Caution hasn’t been a trait associated with the modern Chinese consumer, and it is unclear whether their reluctance to spend will be a lasting or temporary response to the pandemic. – Read More on WSJ

3. Luxury Brands, Get Ready: Changing consumer priorities will result in a trend toward the new luxury of wellbeing after coronavirus. Luxury brands can count on their rich customers to come back, maybe not with the same enthusiasm short term, but return they will. That will not be the case for the mass-affluent, however, who I call the HENRYs (high-earners-not-rich-yet). – Read More on Forbes

4. How The Pandemic Is Shaping Beauty Packaging: Airless packaging isn’t new. Many brands, especially luxury skincare brands, have relied on airless bottles and jars to preserve the efficacy of sensitive formulations. However, because of its ability to keep product contaminant-free, it’s finding favor now. – Read More on Beauty Independent

5. Fashion Education and Startup Accelerators: How COVID-19 is Changing the Fashion Industry. The industry is hurtling towards digital transformation, and students are learning how to use digital tools that allow for garment design and 2D garment pattern making to happen concurrently. – Read More on Forbes