Welcome back to this new edition of The Spin. Today, let us enjoy our breakfast at Tiffany’s. LVMH officially announced its take over of the jeweler for $16 billion. While we are drinking our coffee, we may read about the new clothing expert at M&S and the former Topshop star walk on the fashion rental business. We may also keep an eye on Adidas and Prada’s first collaboration: the Superstar sneaker.
Enjoy the read.
Breakfast at LVMH… Giant French luxury group LVMH (Moet, Hennessy , Louis Vuitton) is buying American jeweler Tiffany in a $16.2 billion cash deal. The original offer at $120 per share made in October has been iincreased to $135 and the transaction should be completed in mid 2020. Until now, LVMH was well known for its apparel, accessories and alcohol subsidiaries (Dior, Givenchy, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Moet and Chandon, Dom Perignon…) but it was considered weak in the hard luxury sector. Bulgari was the only real jewel in the crown.
…Luncheon at Bulgari. Adding Tiffany to the LVMH family gives the French group a leading role in the jewelry sector, but it comes (translated by DeepL) with major challenges. Tiffany is less profitable than Bulgari, the other LVMH subsidiary and less profitable than competitors Cartier, or Van Cleef and Arpels. The American company has a surfeit of entry level products. Bernard Arnault, LVMH’s CEO intends (paywall) to replicate what was done with Bulgari, when the company was acquired in 2011: accelerate expansion in China and simultaneously push the marketing efforts in Europe.
Boomerang. Marks and Spencer has recruited (translated by DeepL) Richard Price, a senior Tesco executive to run its struggling clothing and home business. Richard Price, who is responsible for Tesco’s private label F&F, will join Mark’s and Spencer in 2020. The 52 year old British businessman knows M&S very well: he has already spent 7 years with the chain. He was its menswear director when he left in 2012 to become managing director of the failed chain BHS. The new M&S CEO Steve Rowe is redesigning fashion and food ranges so as to broaden the chain’s appeal.
Marketing wizard. The British e-tailer Asos has recruited its first ever Chief Growth Officer: Robert Birge, who will join Asos in December. He was president of ecommerce at Blink Health. Prior to that he held marketing positions at travel agency Kayak and fashion and media agency IMG. His new mission at Asos: integrate their marketing efforts with strategic planning, analytics and customer experience. The e-tailer is strengthening its executive team. The nomination of a Chief Strategy, Chief People Officer and Chief Customer Officer should follow.
Smooth transition. David Giles Kaye, 65, the Australian fashion Council’s CEO will pass (paywall) the baton in February to Leila Naja Hibri. She is the general manager for accessories label Helen Kaminski and a board member of HKJC, which is a joint venture company with Yagi Tsusho in Japan. Prior to that she worked at Prada and Luxottica. Her 15 years of experience in luxury management will help her accomplish AFC’s goals. She will support the exportation efforts of Australian brands while at the same time advocating for equal opportunity and diversity in business.
Topchair. Jane Shepherdson, a fashion executive who helped Topshop become a global brand, has been named chairwoman of the startup My Wardrobe HQ, a recent addition to a growing group of British fashion rental businesses. The executive, who left Topshop in 2006, was also the head of Whistles until 2016. She is (paywall) interested in environmental issues and likes the idea of renting garments that are beyond customers budget. Her new gig, My Wardrobe HQ acts as an interface between owners and renters.
Pradidas. Prada and Adidas have reimagined (translated by DeepL) the iconic Superstar sneaker. The 2 brands have created a clean looking salute to the 50 years of the Superstar by Adidas Original that is high on symbols. The 3 white stripes on white textured leather reflect Prada minimalism while staying true to Adidas. The duo has also created a bowling bag that will remind grand pa of his OG Adidas gym bag. The 700 piece limited edition will be on sale on December 4.
Bye bye China. Yoox, the experts in selling end-of-season luxury goods, plans (paywall) to close their Chinese website on February 28. The parent company Financiere Richmont, prefers to focus on Feng Mao, a joint venture between Richemont and Alibaba. Yoox alone, doesn’t have the necessary localized services in China. Feng Mao on the other hand, takes advantage of Alibaba’s infrastructure, digital marketing and payment platform…while enjoying Richmont’s expertise in online luxury and its relationships with brands.