Gucci-Owner Needs Some Eco-Wizardry | What happened and why... Wizard, actor, activist and now... advisor. Emma Watson has landed a seat on the board of Gucci-owner, Kering (+9.16%), as the company looks to revamp its image and its sustainability rep. The Harry Potter star has been a high-profile flaunter and advocate of eco-friendly fashion. With shareholders backing the move to bring on board a high-profile activist, the next step is to bring about real change rather than just tweaking the optics. Many will be looking for quantifiable action at the business. And it's a brave move from Kering to bring one of their sharpest critics into their lair... Good On You... Watson is the face of the Good On You app, which rates fashion brands on their ethical and sustainability credentials.'Just a start'... The app has been less than complimentary about top Kering brands such as Gucci rating them only "Not good enough" or "It's a start". 📣 Time for a change... The arrival of Emma Watson is expected to be a statement and signal, that real action is coming. Watson now has a profile to demand a different approach from the inside. And there is a lot that needs fixing... Few do it worse... Due to its long supply chains and energy-intensive production, the fashion industry consumes more energy than the aviation and shipping industry combined, according to the UN.What a waste... It is also responsible for producing large amounts of waste and polluting waterways. Expelliarmus... Luxury firms, along with many consumer-conscious mainstream brands, have been trying to revamp their sustainability image in an attempt to win over younger shoppers. Kering itself is trying to reduce its environmental impact, having cut back on the number of fashion lines it produces and making 67% of the energy it uses renewable. | The Takeaway Only last year, Stella McCartney cut ties with Kering and took up a post in advising the owner of Louis Vuitton, LVMH, on environmental issues. Corporates are turning to big profiles, over experts, to either shift perceptions or initiate change. A decision that will only be vindicated with results. Who else, and what else... Former Credit Suisse boss Tidjane Thiam and the head of Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, Jean Liu, as Kering joins a growing list of corporates responding to mounting pressure to improve the diversity of their leadership. Banking On Different Outcomes | What happened and why... Who would trust a bank... economies across the world are on their knees and few are seeing much light with psy-corona (the psychological impact of COVID-19) expected to continue to dampen an economic bounce. Well, speak for yourselves. Two of America's banks have been spitting out conflating messages this past week about what the global economy is going to serve up in the near-term future... 🐂 Morgan Stanley... Is backing that famed American bull to rise from the ashes. The bank is betting on an economic bounceback and expects a "sharp but short" recession...🧸 Meanwhile, on the other side of Wall St... In a Bank of America (BofA) survey, almost 80% of investment managers reckon the stock markets are overvalued. So with BofA backing more pain and Morgan Stanley eyeing up some gain, where is the proof in the pudding... Lightweight... MS reckons companies and consumers aren’t under as much pressure to reduce their debts as in previous downturns.Largely thanks to the unprecedented support from central banks and governments. 🧪 Well, the last we checked... Consumer debt was approaching $14-trillion in the 20th consecutive quarter for an increase. Even if jobless rates do ease slightly as people return to work, the consumer credit crunch looks like tightening rather than loosening. Morgan Stanley's main point of justification may lie with government support and a U.S. election landing in 5 months' time... which Trump will be desperate to head into with a recovering economy. | The Takeaway 💰 Economic election... America is a democracy built on its economy more than most. With Trump spending 3 years hanging his hat on the major stock market indices that hardly represent economic success, Morgan Stanley must be expected unreserved economic support to continue or even accelerate. The reality of the American economy is that as business returns and lay-offs crystallise from the temporary to permanent, America will be left with a social and economic disparity, not seen in generations. Shopify Taps Into Walmart's Marketplace | What happened and why... Shopify (+20.92%) has been a big winner in the corona-economy. And it just keeps coming. Shares in the out-the-box e-commerce platform have spiked 136% since the beginning of April as online shopping for 'anything' became the norm. 📆 Last month... Shopify partnered with Facebook to serve up a smooth shopping experience via Instagram with "Shops". And it looks like that was only the beginning... Shopify has landed another giant partner with mega-scale, teaming up with Walmart to integrate with its 3rd-party seller platform, Walmart Marketplace. Just not quite as you might think... When scale meets tech... Shopify's approved business sellers get access to Walmart's 120M monthly customers.Walmart Marketplace is a “strategic priority”... Shopify is now used by more than one million retailers—including fast-rising brands like Kylie Cosmetics, Heinz, and Allbirds. This is part of scaling Walmart's sneak to get a cut of sales from across the consumer life. Walmart’s staple diet, their grocery business, has been working over-time in lockdown. Thanks to some heavy investment in their own automation, online sales have rocketed. Grocery sales are still the majority of Walmart’s total U.S. revenue but the company is facing an increasing threat from Amazon, who snapped up Wholefoods in 2017. | The Takeaway So, rather than compete with Amazon just on the grocery piece of the pie, Walmart has gone after some of Amazon's very own pie, e-commerce. And it has started pretty well... E-commerce at the American-owner of Asda, gained 74% last quarter and the retailers 'Marketplace' is gaining more traction that any in-house goods Walmart can offer. For Shopify, they just keep playing the innocent and independent tech working in the background.