♥ Dressbarn Closing All 650 Stores (The New York Times): “Although Mr. Muto did not share a specific timeline for the closings, he said there would be no changes to the current return, refund, or gift card policies or loyalty reward programs … Dressbarn’s 6,800 associates would receive information about specific store closings and would be offered transition support. According to its website, there are stores in 45 of the 50 states.”
♥ Topshop Operator Arcadia Group Files for Bankruptcy in the U.S. (The Wall Street Journal): “The group [on May 22, 2019] sought court protection under chapter 15—the section of the U.S. bankruptcy code that deals with foreign insolvencies—with plans to exit its U.S. operations and to begin liquidating inventory in its U.S. stores … Foreign companies, particularly those with U.S. operations or dollar-denominated debt, often combine bankruptcy proceedings in their home countries with a chapter 15 process in the U.S. Like chapter 11, chapter 15 can halt lawsuits and asset seizures, which Arcadia said will help minimize losses and level the playing field for all creditors.”
♥ Abercrombie Dives Most Since 2000 as Sales Growth Starts to Wane (Bloomberg): “Hollister … saw its sales growth start to taper of … same-store sales for the brand rose 2%, instead of the estimated 3.4% … The company said it would close three more flagships — including its Soho Hollister store in New York City. This will bring the total of flagship closures to five since 2017, and more could be coming … The namesake Abercrombie brand did show signs of rebounding. Same-store sales grew 1.5% compared with estimates for a decline of 1.5%.”
♥ In the Future, We’ll All Be Wearing Eileen Fisher (Vogue): “Eileen Fisher … started making clothes when she traveled to Japan with a Japanese boyfriend … and was inspired by the simple, elegant draping of kimonos … The contradiction between Eileen’s undeniable financial success and her relaxed attitude toward profit is fascinating … The sisterhood translates, financially, to profit sharing and employee part-ownership.”
♥ A ‘Bridge’ to China, and Her Family’s Business, in the Trump Cabinet (The New York Times): “Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao … has no formal affiliation or stake in her family’s shipping business, Foremost Group. But she and her husband … have received millions of dollars in gifts from her father … And Mr. McConnell’s re-election campaigns have received more than $1 million in contributions from Ms. Chao’s extended family … Over the years, Ms. Chao has repeatedly used her connections and celebrity status in China to boost the profile of the company, which benefits handsomely from the expansive industrial policies in Beijing … Foremost has received hundreds of millions of dollars in loan commitments from a bank run by the Chinese government … The company’s primary business — delivering China’s iron ore and coal — is intertwined with industries caught up in a trade war with the United States.”
♥ Ready to do some opposite-season shopping? Some cold-weather favorites have recently gone sale: Arc’teryx Patera Parka (reviewed here. On sale in black; additional sizes here); Sandra Wool-Blend Coat (in the most gorgeous shade of green; even with the $30 shipping charge, it’s still much cheaper than ordering it from a US retailer); UGG Pom-Pom Knit Hat; UGG Sheepskin Bluetooth Earmuffs; Acne Studios Canada Scarf; and UGG Leather Shearling Gloves.
♥ What 10,000 Steps Will Really Get You (The Atlantic): “The study’s results paint a more nuanced picture of the value of physical activity. ‘The basic finding was that at 4,400 steps per day, these women had significantly lower mortality rates compared to the least active women’ … If they did more, their mortality rates continued to drop, until they reached about 7,500 steps, at which point the rates leveled out. Ultimately, increasing daily physical activity by as little as 2,000 steps—less than a mile of walking—was associated with positive health outcomes for the elderly women.”
♥ The Future of Watches (The Business of Fashion): “The market is polarised: brands with tight control on distribution and perceived product rarity are winning; brands in denial over demand levels and complacent about product innovation are suffering. Overall, watches will continue to grow at a slower pace than the wider luxury market … The momentum in entry-level watches has shifted away from Swiss products. Smartwatches and fashion watches are increasingly dominating the price segment below CHF 500 ($500) at retail, or under CHF 200 (around $202) export value … European luxury players are virtually absent from the smartwatches segment, or have a mere toe in the water, with non-Swiss outsiders like LVMH leading the pack. Meanwhile, fashion watches are largely the realm of accessible luxury brands, such as Michael Kors.”
♥ It Seems Implausible, But American Eagle Is Thriving at the Mall (Bloomberg): “Its popularity is partly fueled by Aerie, as well as its denim business, a space where the company has preserved its stature while others have faltered … American Eagle jeans surpassed $1 billion in annual sales last year.”
♥ ‘It’s a Miracle’: Helsinki’s Radical Solution to Homelessness (The Guardian): “As in many countries, homelessness in Finland had long been tackled using a staircase model: you were supposed to move through different stages of temporary accommodation as you got your life back on track, with an apartment as the ultimate reward … ‘We decided to make the housing unconditional … To say, look, you don’t need to solve your problems before you get a home. Instead, a home should be the secure foundation that makes it easier to solve your problems.'”
♥ As Everest Melts, Bodies Are Emerging From the Ice (The New York Times): “In the last few seasons, climbers say they have seen more bodies lying on the icy slopes of Everest than ever before. Both the climbers and the Nepalese government believe this is a grim result of global warming, which is rapidly melting the mountain’s glaciers and in the process exposing bones, old boots and full corpses from doomed missions decades ago. … the bodies of at least a third of all who have died on Everest remain there. Some of them are in pieces, pulled apart by avalanches … A frozen body can weigh over 300 pounds. To carry that extra weight over deep crevasses with precipitous drops and erratic weather would put even more climbers in life-threatening binds.”
♥ Skin Bleaching Is Poisoning Women — But Business Is Booming (Refinery29): “… countries like Nigeria, Jamaica, China, Malaysia, South Korea, and India are all grappling with dangerous skin-bleaching epidemics, with rates of use as high as 77% in Nigeria. Around the globe, skin-lightening procedures and products — many of which are experimental, unregulated, and extremely dangerous — are becoming popular among women hoping to gain an upward trajectory in cultures that prize lighter complexions. Skin bleaching is a rapidly growing industry that’s estimated to reach a valuation of $24 billion in the next decade.”
♥ Until Sunday, take 40% off your entire purchase at Ann Taylor with code HELLO40. And use code NEWLOOK60 to take 60% off full-price dresses and skirts. My picks: Shadowed Square Flutter Sleeve Wrap Dress, Linen Blend Tie Front Sheath Dress, Seamed Sleeveless Flare Dress, Piped Flutter Sleeve Wrap Dress, Seamed Waist Ponte Sheath Dress, and The Square Neck Dress In Glen Check.
♥ Secondhand Luxury: An Inside Look at the Realreal’s IPO Filing (Pitchbook): “Per the SEC filing, it intends to list on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol REAL and is looking to raise $100 million in the offering, though that amount is likely a placeholder.”
♥ Customers Love Free Returns. Here’s How Brands Are Navigating the Costs. (The Business of Fashion): “According to software company Appriss Retail, US returns totalled $369 billion last year, or about 10 percent of total retail sales. And the problem is getting worse as more people shop online, where the return rate is nearly double that of in-store purchases … According to a study from Shipbob, 83 percent of shoppers abandon purchases when they discover there are restocking fees, and 75 percent won’t complete an order if they have to pay for returns.”
♥ America’s Millennial Baby Bust (The Wall Street Journal): “Declining U.S. birth rates are the product of large cultural forces that the federal government can’t buy off with subsidies or income transfers … The evidence from around the world is that pro-natalist policies can’t offset these cultural trends. Singapore’s fertility rate has declined since the 1990s to about 1.2, even after decades of government payouts to encourage more children. Japan … is welcoming immigrant workers after trying everything else. Years-long maternity leave in Nordic countries come with trade-offs like fewer promotions for women.”
♥ The Age of the Internet ‘Wife Guy’ (The New York Times): “A ‘wife guy’ is not just a husband. He is a man who has risen to prominence online by posting content about his wife … The wife guy is a mutation of the ‘Instagram husband’ … except that the wife guy is no longer content behind the scenes. He is crafting a whole persona around being that guy. He married a woman, and now that is his personality.”
♥ Recently purchased: H&M Crêped Dress, Tommy x Zendaya Halter Drape Dress, Banana Republic Stripe Tank Dress, Gap Apron Dress, Coach Cassie Crossbody, A&F Linen-Blend Wrap Jumpsuit, and J. Crew Cinched-Waist Sweater-Dress.
Enjoy the rest of your week, everyone!