Happy Thursday and welcome back to The Spin! Today, we check out how Amazon gets deliveries into customers' residences, even if no one is home. You might also be surprised to find out that Nike plans to focus on just 40 retail partners in the future, building instead on digital and direct-to-consumer. There is also a new fashion exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Enjoy the read and don't forget to share! Best, Ulrike


When the postman rings no more. With its new Amazon Key free in-home delivery technology, the US online giant can bring goods right into customers' residences, even if no one is present. The technology, which is based on smart locks in tandem with Amazon's Cloud Cam, will be launched on November 8th in 37 US cities, exclusively for Prime members. At this point, unpacking and put away services don’t seem to be part of the offer.


Central intelligence. Brands and retailers should soon be able to offer their customers the right product at the right price on every channel. In 2018, customer data platform Segment will launch Personas, a technology that enables businesses to identify their clients' shopping and browsing record in all channels and devices. Once centralized, this data allows marketers to tailor marketing, merchandising and in-store events to each customer's specific needs, thus increasing personalized experiences at all touch-points.

Drone dreams. An order by the Trump Administration is giving local governments more authority to conduct drone tests, bringing commercial drone deliveries by companies like Amazon and Google closer to reality. To date, conflicting local and federal rules in the US have led some companies to conduct test flights in Australia and the UK, where regulations are more relaxed. The new rules are supposed to keep emerging industries in the US to maintain American leadership.


Less is more. Over the next five years, Nike is going to focus its resources, marketing efforts and exclusive products on just 40 retail partners including Foot Locker and Nordstrom. Instead of selling through a wide network of traditional retailers, the US sports giant plans to build on digital and direct-to-consumer channels including eCommerce partners like Farfetch and Amazon. At its investor day, the company laid out its growth strategy, confirming its revenue goal of $50 billion by 2020. Investors were pleased, sending the stock up about 3 percent

Bringing it in. Swedish fashion brand Gant AB Stockholm is taking over (in German) its German import and distribution partner, Duetz Fashion GmbH and Duetz Einzelhandels GmbH, for an undisclosed sum. In 2018, Gant plans (in Dutch) to merge the German business with its Austria and Swiss subsidiaries. The new Gant-DACH will be run by Managing Director Peter Hoever.


Next big thing. In its quest to keep customers satisfied, US department store chain Macy's keeps testing new customer and employee recommendations at one specific store in New Jersey. Wider aisles, a self-service shoe department, and a charging station where customers can sit and re-charge their electronic devices are just some new features that are being tested at the location in Woodbridge Center. The tests usually run a few months, then successful elements are rolled company-wide.


Bye bye Bond Street. Due to skyrocketing rents in some of London's most famous shopping streets, several high-end brands are reassessing the value of their local stores, putting the rents of properties in prime high street locations at considerable risk of decline. As an alternative to London’s traditional shopping areas such as Bond Street, more affordable options like Seven Dials near Covent Garden are currently gaining much interest.

Catching counterfeits. As Alibaba increases its efforts in luxury fashion, some question the Chinese online giant's effectiveness in fighting counterfeiters. Alibaba President Michael Evans emphasizes that the company needs to better communicate its anti-counterfeit measures. According to Evans, its upgraded IP protection platform takes down tens of thousands of fake products each day. In January, the company launched the Alibaba Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance along with big luxury players like Kering and Louis Vuitton.


Changing the concept of beauty. For 50 years, Ebony Magazine and the Ebony Fashion Fair have featured African-American models. Starting this weekend, a new exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Art is going to celebrate their legacy with 40 ensembles, photographs and memorabilia from both the magazine and the fair. Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair opens on October 28th and runs through January 21st, 2018.


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