Image: Dior

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 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