Japan’s Zozo, Onward to tie-up as COVID-19 hits fashion sales-Nikkei By Reuters

© Reuters. The logo of Zozo, which operates Japan’s popular fashion shopping site Zozotown and is officially called Start Today Co, is pictured at an event launching the debut of its formal apparel items, in Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese online fashion retailer Zozo Inc (T:) and apparel group Onward Holdings Co (T:) plan to tie up in custom-made clothing to help each other survive a sales slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the said on Sunday.

Zozo, Japan’s biggest online fashion mall, will offer Onward body-size data on a million customers, the business daily reported, without citing sources.

Zozo and Onward were not immediately available for comment outside business hours on Sunday.

Apparel makers such as Onward are struggling with poor sales from pandemic-related store closures and weak consumer spending. Rival Renown Inc filed the bankruptcy protection in May.

Onward, which sells clothes under brands such as Kumikyoku, depends

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Five investing strategies that could pay off over the next 18 months

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Look for companies with strong balance sheets who simply need to put in their time until the world returns to normal

In an uncertain world, there is nothing like a clean balance sheet to give investors comfort. Look for companies that are debt-free, with lots of cash, such as Sylogist (SYZ), Knight Therapeutics (GUD), Photon (PHO) or Franco-Nevada (FNV) in this category. In addition, many of the companies we have mentioned in the categories above also have cash-rich balance sheets, particularly most of the tech companies.

Focusing on these themes, of course, is not going to guarantee investment success. But we think, at least, it will give you a leg up on your investments versus just buying a ‘basket’ of random stocks, or buying a market index ETF.

Peter Hodson, CFA, is Founder and Head of Research at 5i Research Inc., an independent investment research network helping

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Are we seeing a ‘reverse square root’ symbol economic recovery?

Remember when analysts and economists were saying we’d see a V-shaped recovery? They may be rethinking that thesis now.

There are early indicators that the recovery, which quickly gained traction as states started reopening, may be losing steam as cases continue spike across the country.

New cases of the coronavirus have skyrocketed in recent weeks, hitting a record of roughly 60,000 new cases on July 9. Big states like Texas, Florida, and California, are now battening down the hatches once more, by reimposing restrictions for bars, restaurants, beaches, and more. But cases of the virus are now on the rise in many states.

Moody’s Mark Zandi recently told Fortune there’s a “zero chance” of a V-shaped recovery now.

Instead, another shape may be, well, taking shape.

Deutsche Bank senior U.S. economist Brett Ryan was among those who predicted a “reverse square root symbol” shaped recovery … Read More