Last week, as the post-Black Friday hangover set in, Glossy looked back at some of the trends that dominated the holiday shopping week, including how retailers tackled the issue of returns. Elsewhere, Matthew Williams announced his departure from Givenchy and Italian biomaterials company Biofluff raised new funding. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Glossy Podcast for interviews with fashion industry leaders and Week in Review episodes, and the Glossy Beauty Podcast for interviews from the beauty industry. –Danny Parisi, sr. fashion reporter
This Black Friday, more retailers told customers to keep their unwanted items
As the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping frenzy wound down, Glossy covered several topics related to holiday shopping. E-commerce saw accelerated growth, with average discounts twice as steep online compared to in-store.
But with a rise in online shopping often comes an increase in returns. Exact data on the rate of returns this holiday season has not been reported, but retailers are prepared for that number to be high. Reuters reported last week that 59% of retailers are offering some level of a “keep it” return policy. That’s compared to just 26% that did the same last year.
Essentially, for products where processing the return would cost the retailer more than the product itself, the retailer lets customers keep the product and receive a refund rather than send it back. Returns can be quite pricey for retailers to process, often costing as much as 39% of an item’s retail price.
Matthew Williams departs Givenchy
Also last week, Matthew Williams, the designer behind his brand 1017 Alyx 9SM, announced his departure from Givenchy, where he had been creative director for the past three years. It was an abrupt move but not necessarily a negative one. There’s been a trend over the last few years of creative directors having shorter stints at luxury houses as the maisons increasingly look for fresh ideas and aesthetics to liven up their brands.
The announcement came soon after Williams announced a major deal with Hong Kong entrepreneur Adrian Cheng, who bought a stake in Alyx last month and injected cash into the brand. It seems that, with new investment and free of his responsibilities to Givenchy, Williams will be prioritizing Alyx going forward.
Biofluff gets funding
Fashion’s ongoing efforts to replace wasteful plastic and oil-based products like nylon with more sustainable plant-based options have been slow going. It took Lululemon nearly two years to replace nylon with a plant-based alternative in two of its shirts, for example.
But continued investment is helping some biomaterial companies grow. The Paris and New York based plant-based fur alternative company Biofluff, which started out of LVMH’s Maisons de Startups program, announced a $2.5 million funding round last week led by Astanor Ventures. The company is banking on the idea that, while many luxury brands have cut off their use of fur, most of the replacement materials have been made of various types of plastic. Therefore, the hope is that there’s a market among luxury brands for something good both for the environment and for animals.