Weekly Link Roundup

April 25, 2017

▪ I went window-shopping at Zara the other day... to figure out if I've been especially unlucky when online shopping, or if its spring collection is more dud-filled than usual. It turns out its spring collection is overall pretty cute, but to be nitpicky, everything worth buying bear pretty hefty price tags. But I am really excited about its experimentation with self-checkout and interactive dressing rooms. My fingers are crossed that these changes will roll out broadly soon.

▪ In the week or so since I read "How to Kick Open a Door," I've been living a different existence. I now approach every door wondering how I might kick it open. I have taken to knocking on it first before reaching for the handle, and will consider a door's material before I look whether to push or pull. In short, to successfully kick open a door: wear pants, don't attempt the maneuver on steel doors/door frames, make sure your foot is completely flat when it strikes the door, don't use any other body part other than your foot, and aim "just above the deadbolt or knob." 

"Tip" in The New York Times Magazine is one of my favorite columns, and (apart from the how-to on kicking open a door from above) one other piece that I wanted to share is "How to Run for Local Office." If any of you ever decide to run for office, I will gladly include your campaign website in a weekly link roundup.

▪ In a two-part transaction that will hopefully (but not really) simplify their relationship, LVMH will spend ~$13 billion (~€12 billion) to retain full control of Christian Dior SE (the deal will be financed in part by the sale of Hermes stock). Bernard Arnault and Co., who currently own 74.1% of Dior, will buy the remaining shares, then sell Christian Dior Couture for €6.5 billion to LVMH (of which Arnault owns 47%). Dior also currently holds some 40% of LVMH shares. This relationship really could use further consolidation.

Being talented is hard. (I wouldn't know from personal experience, but thanks to HBR I can at least read about it.)

H&M is (or rather, has been) diversifying its portfolio of brands, emulating the strategy that has worked so well for Inditex (aka parent company of Zara). I am all for capturing new markets, but I really think it should take seriously a review of its flagship brand, as its offerings have been bland. I've not walked out of a store having made a purchase in more than a year (though my online purchases have been slightly more successful).

▪  (Video Link) THE YouTube tutorial of the moment: "Ashley’s Totally Basic FOIA Tutorial."

Walmart is finally taking steps to counter Amazon, and has gone on a buying spree: it purchased Jet.com last August for $3 billion in cash, ShoeBuy for $70 million in January, Moosejaw for $51 million in February, and ModCloth for between $50-$75 million last month. Its latest target is Bonobos, for whom it has offered some $300 million for access to its fashion-conscious male customers.

▪ I find this deal number staggering and somewhat unbelievable (the purchase price has not been disclosed and PetSmart is a privately held company), but PetSmart has apparently bought Chewy.com for $3.35 billion

▪ If you frequent street food vendors, you might enjoy "A Day in the Life of a Food Vendor." It is unclear exactly how representative Kabir Ahmed is of others in the industry, but I nevertheless found it an interesting read.

▪ I recently binge watched all six episodes of Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On on Netflix. It's a sort of follow-up to the 2015 documentary Hot Girls Wanted, but the topics covered are tangential to "mainstream porn." If you like the Modern Love column, you might like this.

▪ Another day, another massive store closure story. This time, it's Bebe who has announced that it would close all 170+ remaining stores and become an e-tailer.

▪ This is a story about food waste diversion, so I suppose the title ("The Hot New Trend in Food is Literal Garbage") is appropriate, but it still feels clickbaity.

Recently ordered: Free People Pretty & Free Off the Shoulder Romper, H&M Jersey Dress, J. Crew Shift Dress in Morning Floral, Watters Abigale Tulle Halter Gown, Ann Taylor Pearlized Velvet Choker, and J. Crew Tie-waist Short in Liberty® Thorpe Floral.


Have a great week, all!

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