Daily Links

1. Sorry, Louis Vuitton, Cartier Is the New Bling Kingmaker: Johann Rupert, chairman of Swiss group Cie Financiere Richemont SA, holds the cards to consolidating the world of high-end fashion, watches and jewelry — and the industry is watching to see what hand he’ll play. – Read More on Bloomberg

2. RELATED READ: Richemont Turned Down Kering Merger Proposal in January, Per Report. “Rumors about a possible tie-up between Richemont and Kering have been circulating for years, but have gathered steam in recent months after LVMH’s takeover of U.S. jeweler Tiffany put pressure on rivals to scale up.” – Read More on TFL

3. It’s not enough for celebrities to put their names to beauty brands – the power is in the product, too: Welcome to the era of celebrity beauty brands. From make-up to skin, hair and body care, more and more celebrities are launching their own beauty brands – and it doesn’t look like the trend is going to end any time soon, although it’s not entirely new either. – Read More on SCMP

4. Coronavirus-era bankruptcy surge heavily favors reorganizing over liquidation: Nearly 62% of U.S. corporate bankruptcy filings in 2020 sought reorganizations, the highest rate for any year going back to at least 2010, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. Companies were less likely to liquidate in 2020, a departure from 2019 and 2018 when corporate liquidations outpaced reorganizations in bankruptcy filings. – Read More on SCMP

5. Fashion retailers bet bras with wires and a splash of color will sell this spring: After a year of nesting in pastel-colored loungewear, shoppers are opting for styles with floral prints, feel-good slogans and statement jewelry to jazz up working-from-home outfits as optimism makes a comeback in spring collections. – Read More on Reuters

6. Solving fashion’s biggest issues: Overproduction and overconsumption: Reducing consumption and production is the only way fashion brands can make good on sustainability comments, say experts. Alternative business models can help. – Read More on Vogue Biz

1. Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue Mired in $200 Million Retail Rent Fight: Since March 2020, struggling retailers across the U.S. have missed billions in rent payments, citing lost sales due to pandemic restrictions. While many companies have reopened stores or worked out compromises with landlords, a few giant Fifth Avenue deals remain in gridlock, signaling further roadblocks to the street’s recovery. – Read More on Bloomberg

2. RELATED READ: From Malls to Madison Avenue: Real Estate is Getting a COVID Makeover. Among the most immediate results of a COVID-induced shift in power? An adoption of turnover-based leases, ones in which a link exists between the revenue a company brings in from the space it leases and the rent it pays (a trend that has adopted with increasing frequency in recent years), as well as the adoption of COVID-19 clauses aimed at specifically addressing and mitigating new risks. – Read More on TFL

3. H&M vows to rebuild trust in China after Xinjiang backlash: Western brands are battling to strike a balance between consumers in the world’s second-largest economy and public opinion at home, which has become increasingly concerned about reports of forced labor in Xinjiang. – Read More on CNBC

4. Is China’s Luxury Future in Vintage? Brands should keep an eye on Chinese consumers’ pursuit of vintage luxury items. These consumers are looking for cost-effective luxury items with high levels of craftsmanship and design that reflect their personal style rather than seasonal products and up-to-date fashion trends. – Read More on Jing

5. Amazon faces labor backlash in Europe as worker union vote proceeds in US: As a historic vote count gets underway to determine whether Amazon.com Inc. workers in Alabama will form a union, the company is facing increasing resistance from its already unionized employees across Europe, including a recent call for a strike in Germany. – Read More on S&P Global

6. Nine emerging DTCs to watch in 2021: Brands are being held more financially accountable to achieve long-term growth. Previously, there was a notion for DTC brands to “grow at all costs.” Now, success lies in having fundamentally sound business economics related to supply chain, profitability and securing that first purchase. – Read More on Retail Dive

1. U.S. retailers welcome consumers back to stores as e-commerce growth slows: “E-commerce has been moderating for a couple quarters now; we think that continues more drastically as the vaccine is distributed and the pandemic gradually fades. It’s going to be more balanced between physical store sales and e-commerce.” – Read More on S&P Global

2. How a used-clothing site became a $184 million tech giant: Resale us booming, but over the long term, ThredUp faces challenges: stiff competition comes from many other players popping up on the market, and brands such as Patagonia are launching resale marketplaces of their own products. – Read More on Fast Co. 

3. RELATED READ: Are Buyback Programs the Future of the Luxury Market? Second-hand luxury can actually be seen as “a new growth driver and another high-quality, entry-level offer, such as perfumes, bags and shoes.” And those are precisely the types of high-margin offerings that enable most luxury brands – which, with their high turnover, volume-based models, are not actually based on exclusivity at all – to generate billions in revenue. – Read More on TFL

4. BofA names the ‘must have’ global stocks set to pop on a China spending boom: “China is the most exciting opportunity in online luxury,” they wrote. The bank expects Chinese shoppers to spend 41 billion euros ($48.9 billion) buying luxury goods via e-commerce in 2025 — a four-fold increase on 2020. – Read More on CNBC

5. Citing privacy concerns, some online marketplaces move against seller transparency: Online marketplaces eBay, Etsy, Mercari, OfferUp and Poshmark on Tuesday launched “the Coalition to Protect America’s Small Sellers” or the PASS Coalition, in opposition to the newly-reintroduced INFORM Act, a federal bill aimed at curtailing sales of fake and stolen goods through online marketplaces. – Read More on Retail Dive

1. Why Have Fashion and Beauty Brands Failed to Respond to Anti-Asian Hate? “A lot of the big brands are in a position of power and resources where they could make a difference to help the AAPI community. It’s easy to put out a statement on Instagram saying you stand with the AAPI community, but then not do anything tangible.” – Read More on Daily Beast

2. How luxury luggage brand Globe-Trotter navigated the pandemic: Executive chairman Vicente Castellano, formerly the MD of Hackett London, hatched a plan to enhance Globe-Trotter’s identity as a lifestyle brand with a multi-strand structure, combining its “old-world” glamour with an exciting sense of “newness” that encapsulates the uniting cultural and emotional experience of travel. – Read More on the Week

3. Digitizing Isn’t the Same as Digital Transformation: Covid-19 accelerated the pace of many companies’ digital initiatives — and yet many executives are expressing concern that they’re actually falling behind on making the important choices that lead to differentiation. To win in the post-Covid world, leaders must re-imagine not just how your company works, but also what you do to create value in the digital era. – Read More on HBR

4. What’s next for Bangladesh’s garment industry, after a decade of growth: Pandemic pressure and shifts in global markets have brought stiff challenges to the garment industry in Bangladesh. The sector will need to innovate, upgrade, and diversify, investing in flexibility, sustainability, worker welfare, and infrastructure. – Read More on McKinsey

5. Buy Now, Pay Later Startup Sezzle Becomes Certified B Corp: Sezzle says its mission is to financially empower the next generation, and to go beyond finance by supporting empowerment across many facets of users’ lives, creating a better world for the next generation through ethical initiatives. – Read More on Forbes

6. Nordstrom’s Brush With Junk Proved a Turning Point: As its ratings fell, Nordstrom was forced to pledge inventory as collateral on its credit line and meet strict financial metrics that limited its flexibility. Additional covenants restricted Nordstrom’s options for financing future payments to vendors and precluded share repurchases and dividend payments until the ratings improved. – Read More on Bloomberg

1. The Future of Retail is Already Here: Whether “normalcy” is really on its way back (or will ever return) is still an open question. But even if how we consume has changed forever, we’ll always need more stuff. – Read More on Bloomberg

2. Why Retail is at a Crossroads: Despite the fact that most shoppers are still averse to “go shopping,” it is likely they will go out and spend some money. Certainly, the government hopes they will do that in order to jumpstart the economy. Those easy comparisons will be true for the next two quarters. – Read More on Forbes

3. Federal appeals court rules for France in ‘France.com’ trademark dispute: The French government didn’t engage in commercial activity that would negate its sovereign immunity when it won the rights to the domain name in French court from France.com Inc., the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. – Read More on Reuters

4. Where Pent-Up Demand Is Strongest (and Weakest) in a Post-Pandemic Economy: Millennials – and, to some extent, Gen Z adults – will bolster the post-pandemic economy. Millennials are the most eager to return to everyday activities, including going to the movies and sporting events, traveling abroad, going back to the gym and even traveling for work. – Read More on Morning Consult

5. What brands can learn about pricing luxury goods beyond all expectations from Beeple’s $69 million NFT art sale: What luxury brands need to do is estimate the added luxury value their brand delivers. And this value does not depend on the product or the competition, it depends on the perceived value the story creates. – Read More on SCMP

6. What Happens to Luxury if China Stalls? One potential risk at play: A confidence crisis in the Chinese leadership or a new policy like [China’s] anti-corruption policy from 2012 could stem the tide of luxury spending. – Read More on Jing Daily