Weekly Link Roundup

♥ Listening now: Reply All: The Test Kitchen, a four-part mini series about the Bon Appétit implosion.

Asos Buys Topshop, Sister Brands in £295 Million Deal (The Business of Fashion): “Asos will pay £265 million for the brands and a further £30 million for their stock, but the deal excludes any associated stores.”

Why Asos Needs Topshop (The Business of Fashion): “The high-profile deal marks Asos’ first foray into M&A and reflects a rapidly intensifying race to dominate fashion’s booming online market … The Topshop deal is a way for Asos to boost its market share fast by taking control of a brand that already performs well within its core market of fashion-savvy consumers in their 20s. While Topshop has lost its sheen in recent years, it’s a brand name that still carries a strong cachet with a whole generation. Last year, Asos sold half a million pairs of Topshop jeans and 300,000 Topshop day dresses, while 80 percent of HIIT’s sales came from the Asos site.”

♥ (Video) ‘Framing Britney Spears’ (The New York Times; watch on Hulu, FX, or YouTube)

The GameStop Dilemma: What to Do if Day Traders Target Your Company Stock (The Wall Street Journal): “Deciding whether to raise money is far more complicated than it might seem … Acting SEC chair Allison Herren Lee said … the agency is watching whether issuers who choose to raise money in the current environment fully disclose any risks surrounding their stock. Ms. Lee also said the agency would be watching to see if corporate insiders trade personal holdings of stocks affected by the recent volatility.”

Amazon Can Make Just About Anything—Except a Good Video Game (Bloomberg): “Bezos views games as yet another way to sell subscriptions to Prime and hook customers on its other offerings … As other e-commerce companies catch up with speedy free shipping, Amazon has sought to add more perks to Prime to justify the price of membership … The game studios … established their own separate set of principles, although the credos frequently changed and sometimes were in tension with one another … Each game world should accommodate as many players as possible, yet also be fun to play solo at the same time. They had to be huge financial successes on a Call of Duty scale but also innovative and unlike anything the world had seen before. To experienced game developers, these rules seemed like a surefire way to not release anything. Amazon didn’t give employees much financial incentive to release anything, either. Most big game companies pay staff bonuses based in part on the critical and commercial response to their games, but Amazon’s stock plan only rewards employees for time spent at the company.”

Join Us in Miami! Love, Masters of the Universe (The New York Times): “Rich people have always moved to Miami to enjoy their wealth and while away their time on the water. It is unclear if these newcomers are just the latest generation to do that, or if they will really build new companies in the city.”

For Brands, Is Resale Actually Worth It? (The Business of Fashion): “Secondhand success is no sure thing … It’s expensive to ensure items for sale are authentic, in good condition and attractively presented to shoppers, whether the listing is for a $30 T-shirt or a $1,000 handbag. The RealReal, one of the oldest and biggest online resale platforms, has yet to turn a profit … The resale world is divided between platforms that stock and sell used clothing themselves … and peer-to-peer marketplaces … A similar divide is emerging for brands. Many early resale adopters, including Eileen Fisher and Patagonia, use Trove to operate much of their resale operations, including building e-commerce infrastructure and shipping. Secondhand sales facilitated by the company more than doubled last year, and Trove plans to significantly increase its warehouse space in 2021 … Peer-to-peer marketplaces can scale fast: they don’t have to bother with warehouses or photographers because sellers list and ship their own items. But it’s harder to control the quality of products or the shopping experience.”

$15 Minimum Wage Would Cut Employment, Reduce Poverty, CBO Study Finds (The Wall Street Journal): “Increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 from the current $7.25 an hour level … would cut employment by 1.4 million and reduce the number of Americans below the poverty line by 900,000, according to a study released by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office … 17 million U.S. workers, or about 10% of the labor force, would have their pay increased because they would otherwise earn less than the federal minimum wage. Another 10 million workers who earn slightly more than $15 an hour could also potentially see pay increases.”

The Primal Scream (The New York Times): “Almost 1 million mothers have left the workforce — with Black mothers, Hispanic mothers and single mothers among the hardest hit. Almost one in four children experienced food insecurity in 2020, which is intimately related to the loss of maternal income. And more than three quarters of parents with children ages 8 to 12 say the uncertainty around the current school year is causing them stress.”

Ultra-fast Fashion Is Eating the World (The Atlantic): “…according to a 2017 poll, 41 percent of women ages 18 to 25 felt pressure to wear a different outfit every time they went out … In times of crisis, consumers don’t stop shopping—they just limit their purchases to affordable pleasures. Fast fashion had expanded its market share during the 2008 global financial crisis; now this new cohort of companies—known as ultra-fast fashion—was poised to do the same … Asos’s sales rose rapidly from March to June. Boohoo had its best quarter ever … The ultra-fast-fashion brands have designed a shopping experience that makes the consumer feel as if the clothes magically appear out of nowhere, with easy purchasing and near-immediate delivery. The frictionless transactions contribute to the sense that the products themselves are ephemeral—easy come, easy go. Of course, the clothes don’t come from nowhere … Producing clothing at this scale and speed requires expending enormous amounts of natural resources … the volume of clothes Americans throw away has doubled over the past 20 years. We each generate about 75 pounds of textile waste a year, an increase of more than 750 percent since 1960. Some thrift shops, glutted with flimsy, synthetic wares, have stopped accepting fast-fashion donations. Discarded clothes get shipped overseas. Last year, a mountain of cast-off clothing outside the Ghanaian capital city of Accra generated so much methane that it exploded; months later, it was still smoldering.”

The Down Side to Life in a Supertall Tower: Leaks, Creaks, Breaks (The New York Times): “One of the most common complaints in supertall buildings is noise … metal partitions between walls groan as buildings sway … the ghostly whistle of rushing air in doorways and elevator shafts. Residents at 432 Park complained of creaking, banging and clicking noises in their apartments, and a trash chute ‘that sounds like a bomb’ when garbage is tossed … Annual common charges jumped nearly 40 percent in 2019 … When the building opened in late 2015, homeowners were required to spend $1,200 a year on the service; in 2021, that requirement jumps to $15,000, despite limited hours of operation because of the pandemic. And breakfast is no longer free.”

Rich Investors Stripped Millions From a Hospital Chain and Want to Leave It Behind. A Tiny State Stands in Their Way. (ProPublica): “Investors led by the private equity firm, Leonard Green & Partners, previously extracted $645 million in dividends from the investment, and the firm now seeks to leave behind another $1.3 billion in financial obligations at the chain … A financial consultant for the receiver also warned in a report that Prospect’s financial statements through fiscal year 2019 … revealed a worsening ‘state of insolvency’ and ‘imminent”’ bankruptcy, absent a big capital infusion.”

Luxury Giants Like Louis Vuitton Are Falling for Big Gems (The New York Times): “Louis Vuitton introduced its first high jewelry collection in 2009, but the diamonds represent the first opportunity for clients to participate in the entire bespoke process: from the rough stones all the way through working on final designs with … Vuitton’s artistic director of jewelry and watches … Michael Burke, Louis Vuitton’s chief executive, considers custom high jewelry to be a natural extension of the brand’s origins in leather goods … Vuitton plans for a buyer to accompany its head of gemology to … watch cutters create a kind of small window in the selected gem, to allow a view of its interior. The cutters then will spend several months studying the stone’s structure to determine the possible cuts and gem sizes. Once a client makes his or her selections, the cutting and polishing will require months more. In all, the brand said, it will take at least a year to get a finished jewel.”

♥ Recently purchased: Our Place Always Pan Set, sugarfina Cookie Trio Bundle, Alo Yoga Eternal Hoodie, Polo Ralph Lauren Cable Knit Sweater, French Connection Turtleneck Balloon Sleeve Sweater, and Express X You Cashmere Mock Neck Sweater.

Have a good week, everyone!

Hi, I am Elle!

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