Daily Links

1. Even a Tiffany Discount Comes with a Cost: Renegotiate the price of LVMH’s pre-COVID deal to acquire Tiffany might not be worth the reputational damage, particularly if there is a lengthy court battle between the two sides. Shares in LVMH have taken the developments in their stride so far. But for some investors, if they believe he really doesn’t want the deal at all, Arnault’s move might be read as a worrying signal about the strength of LVMH and the future of luxury. – Read More on Bloomberg

2. Lululemon’s Sales Rise as Athleisure Demand Persists: The company’s online business increased by 157% in the period, accounting for 61% of overall sales compared with 25% in last year’s second quarter. Even as steep declines in bricks-and-mortar traffic continue to batter retailers, Lululemon has benefited from the shift to online shopping given its focus on activewear and loungewear as well as its developed e-commerce business. – Read More on the Wall Street Journal

3. Can luxury brands meet the needs of the new consumer? 60% of Gen Z & Millennials say collaborations increase their willingness to buy a product. Luxury brands have also adapted their pricing strategy to capitalize on young consumers behaviors, by releasing more readily-accessible products, such as the Gucci ‘Instagram-ready’ £90 socks, or £170 phone cases. – Read More on the Drum

4. Would you spend $10,000 on a virtual dress? Gucci is betting on it: “The virtual world is creating its own economy. Virtual items have value because of their own scarcity, and because they can be sold and shared.” (To wit: Someone recently dropped $2,400 on a pair of virtual sneakers on a mobile game called Aglet; another spent $9,500 on a digital dress that only exists on Instagram.) – Read More on Fast Co.

5. RETRO READ: With the Video Game Market on Track to Reach $300 Billion, Luxury Brands Want to Make Real Money from Virtual Clothes. The video game segment is estimated to reach a whopping $300 billion by 2025 with a portion of those revenues inevitably coming from sales of video game-related “downloadable content and micro-transactions,” i.e., ones where players purchase virtual goods, such as clothing – or in gamer-speak, skins – for their characters. – Read More on TFL

1. If Tiffany Gets Left at the Altar, It Will Need a Bigger Web Strategy: “Luxury is about being seen wearing certain products, including jewelry,” said Neil Saunders, a managing director of research firm GlobalData PLC. “As people stay home more, the need for purchasing these items has dissipated.” – Read More on the Wall Street Journal

2. Urban Outfitters Navigates Inventory Challenges Amid Pandemic: Lowering inventory levels relative to sales—for example, by ordering fewer goods from suppliers—is key to protecting the company’s finances and reducing the amount of cash trapped in operations, Mr. Conforti said. – Read More on the Wall Street Journal

3. Bankrupt retailers face a new hurdle: Getting rid of inventory. Deep discounts and liquidation sales are no longer enough to lure customers. Liquidation firms say they’ve changed the way deals are structured. Instead of paying retailers for their inventory upfront, as has long been the norm, they have shifted to a fee-based model where the retailer gets a portion of the proceeds after the sale is complete. – Read More on the Washington Post

4. Changes in Luxury Retail And Brand Collaboration in the Post-Covid-19 World: Luxury brands are known to control distribution (especially during uncertain times); therefore, visibility is a key driver when stores are closed and when they start to open. – Read More on Forbes

5. H&M Says It’s Not Working With Any Garment Factories in Xinjiang: Swedish retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB says it’s not working with any garment factories in the Xinjiang region of China. On Tuesday, the Trump administration said it was banning imports from three companies in Xinjiang over Beijing’s alleged repression of Uighur Muslims. It also plans to add curbs on six more firms and target cotton from the area. – Read More on Bloomberg

6. Peter Do’s ‘true luxury’ wardrobe staples for women ‘tired of trendy’ give label head start on fashion’s repositioning after Covid-19: “Everything is designed by us and done by us, so if something comes up it’s very easy to adapt and make things work, whereas at bigger brands there are so many layers you have to go through. We’re more flexible.” – Read More on SCMP

1. Burberry Plans Ethical Luxury Investment: Burberry Group Plc is offering a touch of luxury to ethical investors. The trench-coat maker intends to sell a sterling sustainability bond, as the socially responsible debt market increasingly grows beyond utilities, banks and governments. Companies in the industry have tapped ethical investors to help pay for projects. Pradaraised a sustainability-linked loan last year, while VF Corp. has sold green bonds. – Read More on Bloomberg

2. Shopify, Suddenly Worth $117 Billion, Is One of the Biggest Pandemic Winners: Millions of small businesses have had to adapt to a world where online sales abruptly jumped to levels that weren’t expected for years. U.S. e-commerce sales surged 37 percent to $200 billion in the second quarter. Big brands have long used Shopify’s technology to sell directly to consumers. During the pandemic, it has been small-business owners, however, that have given the company a boost. – Read More on the Wall Street Journal

3. Luxury brands must be human first: “It is important to emphasize the value behind luxury goods,” says Filip Libal, CEO of Worldwide Partners agency Proboston, based in Prague. “Luxury goods no longer serve as a demonstrative status symbol as they once did. Rather, they now showcase a way of preserving value, an investment.” – Read More on the Drum

4. Fendi Selects Kim Jones to Replace Karl Lagerfeld: Mr. Jones will be responsible for the haute couture, ready-to-wear and fur collections for women, Fendi said in a statement. He will also maintain his current position as artistic director of Dior Men in Paris. – Read More on the New York Times

5. Now-stalgia: why fashion is going back to the future. “Nostalgic content comprises a big portion of what resonates well with viewers in 2020,” Abraham says. “It’s almost like a new form of expression, creating a repository of images of significance or inspiration in a sort of modern day form of scrapbooking. We have social media: Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter to thank for that.” – Read More on the Guardian

6. RETRO READ: As Nostalgia Reigns Supreme on Instagram, It’s Driving Demand Amongst Consumers. The push amongst some of the web’s most well-known re-sale sites to stock throw-back pieces, and the rate with which these items are selling, is also indicative of a larger moment. Rati Sahi Levesque, chief merchant of The Real Real, told WWD late last year, “Nineties Dior slipdresses are flying out. Manolo Blahnik mules are gone. It feels like it’s a little more about the iconic pieces from a designer.” – Read More on TFL

7. Beauty Stocks Face New Reality Amid Coronavirus Pandemic: The coronavirus pandemic is changing the face of the makeup business, but sales are expected to bounce back once there is a vaccine. However, with no clear end date to coronavirus restrictions in sight, makeup sales are likely to remain depressed and will continue to weigh on the results of beauty companies. – Read More on the Wall Street Journal

1. Welcome to Your Bland New World: Why do disruptive startups slavishly follow an identikit formula of business model, look and feel, and tone of voice? Because it works, sort of. What makes a brand a bland is duality: claiming simultaneously to be unique in product, groundbreaking in purpose, and singular in delivery, while slavishly obeying an identikit formula of business model, look and feel, and tone of voice. – Read More on Bloomberg

2. RETRO READ: Blanding – What Is It, How Did We Get Here and What Does it Mean Going Forward? As part of a larger trend in branding, or better yet, blanding, a growing number of high fashion and luxury brands – and other consumer goods and tech companies, as well – are looking to spartan logos, which are “designed not to stand out at all, but to blend in.” – Read More on TFL

3. RELATED READ: How Can You Protect Branding That Barely Even Exists? Minimal branding does not mean non-distinctive branding. Consider the logos of Chanel and Calvin Klein, for example. The companies’ branding is clean and streamlined, and it is replicated across the product lines (i.e., on beauty and fragrances, as well as on ready-to-wear and accessories) and across media channels, working on the assumption that repeated customer exposure creates recognition, which builds reputation, which generates sales. – Read More on TFL

4. Neiman Marcus Approved to Exit Bankruptcy After Critic’s Arrest: The luxury retailer is poised to come out of bankruptcy having shed $4 billion of its more than $5 billion debt load. Neiman will have new owners, including Pacific Investment Management Co., Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP and Sixth Street Partners LLC. Pimco will be the largest shareholder, controlling three of the company’s seven board seats, according to court records. – Read More on the Wall Street Journal

5. The pandemic is changing the future of fashion and shopping: The pandemic’s role as an accelerant can be seen and felt across the entire fashion and beauty landscape. “COVID has made us speed up like five to 10 years.” – Read More on the LA Times

6. The Fashion Industry’s Ties to Forced Labor, by the Numbers: One in five – that’s roughly how many cotton garments in the global apparel market include cotton or yarn that can be traced back to forced labor in the Chinese province of Xinjiang, according to End Uyghur Forced Labor, a human rights coalition. – Read More on Marker

1. Can Quotas Fix Diversity? These Major Companies Hope So: Some of the country’s biggest companies have set targets to make up for a lack of Black workers. Fashion house Ralph Lauren Corp., for instance, said it aims to make 20% of its global leaders people of color, including Black, Asian and Latino workers. – Read More on Bloomberg

2. Retail Eviction Proceedings Pick Up as Economy Restarts: Landlords said they have modified tens of thousands of leases over the past few months, including deferrals or discounts in exchange for lease extensions or other concessions, such as the removal of clauses that prohibited certain types of tenants in the neighboring space, such as direct competitors or other uses of common-area space. But for some, negotiations reached a stalemate and landlords said they have no choice but to resort to litigation. – Read More on the Wall Street Journal

3. The fashion world looks to China: The fewer middlemen involved, the less grey-market activity there is, and the more control brands have over how their goods are presented and sold. See Nike, for instance, which recently slashed the number of retailers selling its shoes. No more Jordans on Zappos.Read More on Axios

4. Retailers are seeing app downloads surge: But, there’s a risk that app usage may start to decrease once shoppers feel more at ease shopping in stores again. The retailers who will get the most out of the current increase of app downloads are the ones who offer enough unique services through it that will convince shoppers to use it regularly. – Read More on Modern Retail

5. Beauty Stocks Face New Reality Amid Coronavirus Pandemic: Makeup sales were already softening for about the past two years partly because of some consumers’ increasing preference for a more natural look. According to research firm Mintel,  U.S. retail sales of color cosmetics are projected to be down 10.6 percent in 2020. – Read More on the Wall Street Journal

6. Demand for luxury vehicles is returning to normal: Speaking at the launch of the new Rolls-Royce Ghost on Wednesday, Torsten Muller-Ottos told the BBC that demand is now “more or less back to normal” in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. – Read More on CNBC