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Inside Retail (Aug 22nd, 2019)

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I'm editing the Twitter100 top retail list on a daily basis. Please send me your favorites so we can turn this into something we all use. Here are our Twitter links:

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Cassidy

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1. Reuters reported that Alibaba will delay its second stock listing in Hong Kong amid protests and political unrest. The listing could be valued up to $15 billion and was originally scheduled for late August before eleven consecutive weeks of protests. A source close to the decision told Reuters "It would certainly annoy Beijing by offering Hong Kong such a big gift given what’s going on in the city." The decision is important because it will be viewed as a barometer to the state of China's economy. Alibaba told CNN that it was "market rumors" and declined to comment. BABA has been listed on the NYSE for the past five years. - REUTERS

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2. Dick's Sporting Goods reported good Q2 earnings this morning, with same store comp sales up 3.2 percent, the largest quarterly gain since 2016 and e-comm growth up 21 percent. Chairman and CEO Ed Stack said, "We saw growth across each of our three primary categories of hardlines, apparel and footwear." President Lauren Hobart pointed to a new service model that helped increase brick-and-mortar comp sales. Dick's consolidated net income for the quarter ending August 3, 2019 was $112.5 million, compared to $119.4 million during Q2 last year, but earnings per share increased $0.06/share. The company also raised its earnings guidance for the rest of the year to $3.30-$3.45, an increase from $3.20-$3.40.

Dick's has a call scheduled this morning to discuss the results. Analysts are also hoping the company will speak to its position on gun sales and whether it will keep its "hunt" category.

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3. Apparel reseller ThredUp secured $175 million in funding to expand its platform and launch Resale-As-A-Service. The new service is a B2C program that helps retailers offer second-hand apparel and accessories to consumers through pop-up shops, online collaborations, and loyalty programs. Co-founder and CEO James Reinhart said retailers are showing a "new appreciation for where the young shopper is shopping." ThredUp was in the news last week when Macy's and JCPenney announced they were both piloting ThredUp shop-in-shops in stores beginning this month. Reinhart told Forbes that TJMaxx is one of ThredUp's largest competitors, with 70 percent of customers shopping off-price if they do not buy used. - FORBES

The fact that ThredUp customers shop off-price tells me price is the main driver still, and that second-hand shopping is not actually driving the company's growth. Do you agree that customers are still going for the cheapest product, or is sustainability the appeal of ThredUp? Hit reply and let me know!

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4. Taylor Swift and sustainable fashion designer Stella McCartney launched their fashion collaboration a day before the musician's "Lover" album is released. Swift posted on her Insta that "It’s been SO much fun to work/dream up cute stuff with my friend [Stella]." The collection is inspired by graffitti, nostalgia, and song lyrics, and also by Swift's cat, Benjamin Button, who appeared in her music video for "Me!" The brand – called Stella x Taylor Swift – is a limited-edition collection that includes tees, fleece, and reusable water bottles, as well as exclusive high-end pieces like an $800 bag and a $2,000 bomber jacket. The majority of the collection is available at the NYC pop-up experience which runs through the weekend, and the high-end items are available on Stella McCartney's site. - THR

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5. Here's some trivia for you: The "E" in Chuck E. Cheese stands for "Entertainment." Also, it turns out he is an orphan mouse whose favorite song is "Happy Birthday." Sad origin story aside, Chuck E. Cheese (the entertainment center and not the mouse) is apparently the recipe for strip mall nightmares. "I should get a medal for surviving CEC," one Twitter user said.

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6. Segway debuted a new self-driving scooter called the KickScooter T60. The scooter uses AI for its camera sensors and can be remote controlled through a cloud server. The appeal of the self-driving scooter is that it can drive itself back to a charging station which eliminates the need for a person to go around the city picking up dead scooters. The scooter is reportedly going to be priced around $1,400 and should launch early next year. - HIGHSNOBIETY

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7. Nike signed a two-year licensing deal with New York's Franchise and Concession Committee to use 30 NYC logos like the NYFD shield and Parks Department leaf on co-branded tees, pants, and shoes. Nike will donate a minimum of $20,000, or 5 percent of revenue to the city's tourism board, NYC & Company. A spokesperson for the mayor's office called Nike "a positive partner, recently donating a field and a skatepark to the Parks Department" in Brooklyn and the Lower East Side. As a vendor of NYC, Nike is subject to ethical requirements for manufacturing that have come under protest. In additional Nike news, Nike denied that the new Joyride shoe filled with plastic beads is bad for the environment. - FOOTWEAR NEWS

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8. Data from the Customs Office of Trade and ICE shows that $1.4 billion in counterfeit goods were seized in the U.S. last year. Apparel, footwear, accessories, watches, and electronics topped the list of most frequently faked categories. Fake handbags and wallets contributing to 16 percent of all total fakes caught.   - THE FASHION LAW

What's your best (or worst) story of buying fake products? Hit reply to share your story.

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10. Mattel released the first edition of its new artist-themed UNO game that features artwork from Jean-Michel Basquiat. The limited-edition Basquiat cards are part of Mattel's new Artiste Series which will feature artists represented by art licensing agency Artestar. Each card features a different painting, and players can either play by the standard UNO rules or play an elevated version where they match paintings. The deck is $20 and available online through Macy's. - DESIGNBOOM

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