Daily Links

1. What Will the Retail Experience of the Future Look Like? Fewer in-person touches means digital artifacts need to embody brands in deeper, more memorable ways. Brands have an opportunity to embrace media that can communicate the experience of using their products. New capabilities in motion design allow us to capture sensory details and generate new realities. – Read More on HBR

2. Sales Are Going Out of Style at These Retailers: A number of clothing retailers – from Gap to Calvin Klein’s parent company PVH Corp. – have said they would pack away a substantial share of inventory for later seasons—or even next year—instead of subjecting their items to what they think will be a cutthroat season of post-pandemic markdowns. – Read More on WSJ

3. Leather, silk, wool, felt – which fabrics fight the spread of viruses and bacteria? Fashion industry looks for answers: “Each fabric performs differently and there hasn’t been extensive work done on the current strain of coronavirus and its relationship to soft surfaces such as textiles. What we do know is that there are certain textiles that are naturally antibacterial, such as wool, cashmere and silk.” – Read More on SCMP

4. Boohoo is the perfect embodiment of our fast fashion hypocrisy: The fast fashion group has hit a market cap of nearly £5 billion by brilliantly tapping into the zeitgeist of modern day 16 to 30 year-olds, and employing a nimble model – in which it leverages its flexible supply chain, and rapidly evolves both marketing content and product ranges to drive superior growth. – Read More on Forbes

5. Neiman Marcus Obtains Access to $250M with DIP Financing: Neiman Marcus Group has obtained U.S. court approval to get debtor-in-possession financing. The retailer said $250 million is available now and a further $150 million will be available as needed after Sept. 4. The purpose of this court action is to provide financing so that Neiman Marcus can open its stores again after the temporary, pandemic-related closings. – Read More on PYMNTS

1. How Adidas Became the Shoe Industry’s Unwitting Racial Equality Case Study: “First, we need to give credit where it’s long overdue: The success of adidas would be nothing without Black athletes, Black artists, Black employees, and Black consumers. Period.” – Read More on Yahoo

2. What will the luxury market in APAC look like after coronavirus? “Luxury brands that have not invested into consistent brand building, to create meaningful differentiation and desirability, will have to work extra hard to win over consumers that have spent the last few months living in lockdown.” – Read More on the Drum

3. Boats, Pools and Home Furnishings: How the Lockdown Transformed Our Spending Habits: “People have a lot of purchasing power now. They’ve been at home and can’t spend for two months. No restaurants, no bars. People who go to sporting events can’t do that. They were forced to save.” – Read More on WSJ

4. Retail is on the rebound, but smaller businesses are still at risk, National Retail Federation CEO says: Retail sales are picking up again, but … “The big question will be what happens to those small, independent, those midsized companies. Can we get the rest of the economy moving quickly enough that we can bring the small businesses along?” – Read More on CNBC

5. About a third of consumers are shopping at pre-COVID-19 levels. They’re just doing it online. A Mastercard SpendingPulse report found that e-commerce sales increased by 92.7 percent in May, and research by Adobe found a surge in buy online, pickup in-store transactions in April. – Read More on Retail Dive

6. How Kohl’s is surviving retail disruption: Department stores were struggling even before the coronavirus pandemic forced many to close their doors for weeks. But Kohl’s is faring better than many rivals. Perhaps most closely watched is its program that allows Amazon customers to return items to Kohl’s stores for fast and convenient refunds. – Read More on CNBC

1. California is Examining Amazon’s Business Practices: In the midst of an ongoing European Union investigation, California’s review focuses at least in part on how Amazon treats sellers in its online marketplace, these people said. That includes Amazon’s practices for selling its own products in competition with third-party sellers, one of the people said. – Read More on WSJ

2. Forced labor: clothing brands have the chance to press China amid post-virus slowdown, rights advocate says. Hundreds of global companies buy cotton and make goods in Xinjiang, China, where over 1 million Uygurs are estimated to be detained, some doing forced labor. – Read More on SCMP

3. RELATED READ: U.S. Lawmakers Introduce New Bill to Cut Down on Imports of Products Made in Chinese Detention Camps. If enacted, the bill will alter existing law in that it will impose a “‘rebuttable presumption’ that assumes that all goods manufactured in Xinjiang are made with forced labor and therefore, banned under the 1930 Tariff Act” – meaning that they will be barred from importation into the U.S. – “unless the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection certifies otherwise.” – Read More on TFL

4. The Future of Retail, Post-Coronavirus: The coronavirus maelstrom could lead to record permanent closures of bricks-and-mortar stores in the U.S. this year, with the possibility of more shutdowns coming as retailers reopen their stores and map out their post-Covid-19 future, experts say. – Read More on WSJ Pro

5. Fashion was broken even before the pandemic: It’s hard to recall a time since the gluttonous 1980s when fashion wasn’t wobbly. But most agree that after the 2008 recession, the industry was never the same. When the economy tanked, Saks Fifth Avenue took the lead in frantically discounting merchandise, and other stores followed. Sales were already nearly incessant in some parts of the business but the recession sparked drastic markdowns of high-end goods. – Read More on the Washington Post

1. For Businesses to Rebuild, the Important Must Be the Urgent: In April, with much of the U.S. on lockdown, Fila sold more than $1 million through Fila.com for the first time. This rapid acceleration in online sales came as other initiatives went on hold, including advertising and event sponsorship. – Read More on WSJ

2. Racism is at the heart of fast fashion – it’s time for change: The fashion industry makes huge profits from the exploitation of women of color. Millions of black and brown people making our clothes in factories thousands of miles away bear the heaviest burden. For there to be meaningful change, brands need to pay garment workers living wages. – Read More on the Guardian

3. Amazon, pushing fashion: “The first two weeks we were seeing multiple sales a day,” said Jonathan Cohen, one of the designers in the Amazon’s Common Threads store. While sales have slowed, “it’s been helpful,” he said. “We were left with so much inventory from COVID, and in general from stores that were not paying from before.” – Read More on Chicago Tribune

4. RELATED READ: Amazon Has Been Trying (and Failing) to Infiltrate the Fashion Space for Years. It Just Got a Big Break. The Common Threads program now means that Amazon has a stable of designers offering up their wares on its site. – Read More on TFL

5. Matthew Williams is Givenchy’s New Designer: The American designer behind the 1017 Alyx 9SM label and a key ringleader of the luxury streetwear scene, Williams becomes the French house’s seventh couturier, succeeding Clare Waight Keller. His challenge will be to quickly galvanize the house around yet another new esthetic – and fast. Tenures at heritage brands have been getting shorter, and the current environment seems to favor luxury’s giant players including Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior and Gucci, whose scale affords multiple advantages.Read More on WWD

6. ‘Woke’ fashion brands face backlash for not practicing what they preach: “Changing before talking about your changes will be vital,” says RJ d’Hond from data consulting company Kantar, “and only if it is a full company intent, not a marketing or communication department idea.” – Read More on the Guardian

1. The company that saved Barneys, Forever 21 while in bankruptcy says, “Apparel will be back. People are not necessarily buying less apparel, they are buying different apparel. My guess is Lululemon sales are through the roof right now.”Read More on CNBC

2. Lululemon Posts Sharp Drop in Sales: Lululemon’s sales fell sharply in the last quarter. The company’s online business surged by 70 percent in the period, accounting for 54 percent of overall sales compared with 27 percent in the year-ago quarter, but with U.S. and European stores were closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, its surging online sales weren’t enough to offset the decline. – Read More on WSJ

3. LVMH-owned Sephora Signs ‘15 Percent Pledge’ to Carry More Black-Owned Brands: A movement spearheaded by a black creative director named Aurora James is urging major retailers to commit to devoting a set amount of their shelf space to black-owned businesses. “It starts with a long-term plan diversifying our supply chain and building a system that creates a better platform for Black-owned brands to grow, while ensuring Black voices help shape our industry. We recognize we can do better.” – Read More on the New York Times

4. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Faces Off Against a Fearsome Adversary: The EU’s antitrust regulator plans to file a formal complaint against Amazon over the way it treats third-party seller data. The problem is that running the marketplace means Amazon can learn which products are popular and where, even when these aren’t goods that it’s supplying directly. – Read More on Bloomberg

5. RETRO READ: Is Amazon an Antitrust Lawsuit Waiting to Happen? “Amazon’s use of its Amazon Marketplace platform to gather analytics on its Marketplace partners, then to enter their markets while using its data advantage and crushing terms to overtake the space.” – Read More on TFL

6. The fashion industry is notoriously racist. Here’s how to make it more inclusive: Reese believes that the direct-to-consumer movement can help level the playing field for black designers. “There’s so much more opportunity if you don’t have to get past the traditional gatekeepers of the fashion industry.”Read More on Fast Co.