Image: Sotheby's

1. Covid-19 cases are spiking again in the U.S., and so is consumer stockpiling. There’s an important difference from the first round back in March, however: This time the makers of packaged food and household items have had time to prepare. – Read More on Bloomberg

2. Sotheby’s and Christie’s look to luxury as a coronavirus antidote: Owned by French billionaire art collector François Pinault, who also founded luxury goods group Kering, Christie’s introduced online-only sales of designer handbags in 2012, and these particularly appealed to Asian buyers. – Read More on Business Times

3. Spending with buy-now, pay-later options has surged in US: Think of it like a reverse layaway. Consumers get their purchase instantly, even if they elect to pay it off over time. Klarna said one million people in the U.S. have tried its services in the last three weeks alone, bringing its total for the region to 11 million customers. Afterpay has said more than half its 11.2 million active customers are in the U.S. – Read More on Bloomberg

4. RELATED READ: As Buy Now, Pay Later Services Gain Steam, Regulators Are Paying Attention. Technically speaking, Afterpay (and other similar companies) “skirt the definition of a loan under some U.S. laws,” meaning that it is not subject to the same regulation. However, regardless of how it defines its operations, “the more successful Afterpay becomes, the more likely it will attract regulatory scrutiny.” – Read More on TFL

5. How Harry Styles Became 2020’s Biggest Style Icon: A muse to Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, he consistently wears the label’s rather unisex wares such as tapestry print trousers, lithe loafers and pussy-bow blouses. Thanks in part to the internet and social media, which have given him an arguably wider sphere of influence than earlier gender-bending-fashion icons like Bowie or Cobain, Mr. Styles is turning receptive fans onto novel ways of dressing. – Read More on the WSJ

6. The death of the department store and the American middle class: Department stores are also facing the reality that they are no longer the main way most shoppers discover or access new brands — which was once perhaps their main appeal as onetime innovators. Consumer brands have increasingly become focused on building connections with customers through their own stores, websites, social media platforms, and other online-only marketplaces. – Read More on Recode

7. RETRO READ: Why Discount Retailers and Luxury Titans are Thriving While “Balanced” Entities are Closing Up Shop. “Revenue growth is diverging, with sales growing at faster rates for discount and premium retailers at the opposite ends of the spectrum, while balanced retailers” – ones that deliver value through a combination of price and promotion, and many offer widely available products or experiences – “are lagging.” – Read More on TFL