Happy Thursday and welcome back to The Spin! Today we look at different initiatives, retailers are exploring to lure customers back into their physical stores. We also check out which fast fashion retailers are involved in worker abuse allegations, and take a first glimpse at the upcoming Alexander McQueen documentary. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Neiman Marcus' factory. To increase its cultural relevance and expand its dialogue with customers, Neiman Marcus (which just reported a reduced loss on higher revenues) kicks-off the Idea Factory concept. This week's soft launch brings new experiences to the luxury retailer's stores, from piercings to the personalization of products, including workshops for candle-making and cream-creating. In phase two, scheduled for September, the initiative will expand (paywall) to areas like wellness and travel.


Pop-up party! As Ralph Lauren pledges to transform (earnings call transcript) the shopping experience across every single channel, its Club Monaco division plans the addition of in-store pop-up shops with new products and personalized experiences. Conceived to last for a few months, those pop-ups will be promoted by launch events like book readings and panel discussions, some of which will be live-streamed on Instagram.

Scenes from a mall. Shopping malls in India are ramping up tech efforts to court shoppers with targeted offers and personalized experiences. Since January, the country's largest developer, DLF, has been adding free Wi-Fi and will roll out the service to all of its malls by July. Fueled by increasing investments, Phoenix Mills is developing tech that will let it send personalized deals to customers when they enter the property.


Phantom threat. The pressure of producing fast fashion has apparently led to multiple incidents of sexual and physical abuse of female workers in Asian factories that produce for H&M and Gap Inc. While many workers hesitate to report incidents for fear of retaliations, over 540 affected at factories in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka have actually come forward. Both Gap and H&M plan to investigate the allegations.


Fashion fairy tales. Masayuki Ino of the Japanese streetwear label Doublet has been awarded the 2018 LVMH Grand Prize, which includes a €300,000 grant and a one-year mentoring program from a dedicated LVMH team. But a closer look a the career paths of some of the previous winners reveals that the high expectations coming with the prize can be both a blessing and a curse.

Girls will be boys. As gender roles and definitions become more fluid, fashion brands adapt (paywall) with so-called co-ed collections offering styles for girls and boys that "meet in the middle" and reflect each other. Breaking gender stereotypes, names like Gucci, Balenciaga and Haider Ackerman make certain trends or looks even more powerful by proposing them for both sexes.


From Scout24 to Signa. Christian Bubenheim has been named (paywall; in German) CEO of Signa Sport Group's online platform, Internetstores. The 55-year-old comes from digital marketplace operator Scout24 and has previously worked for Amazon Germany. He succeeds (in German) Markus Winter, who left the company. Operating with about 30 partners in 13 countries, Internetstores is a large European online destination for bike and outdoor products.


Dark knight. Simply titled McQueen, the Alexander McQueen documentary tells the story of the late fashion designer's journey from East London to global fame, highlighting the immense pressure that came with that ascend. Directed by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui, the film (trailer) offers a rare glimpse behind the scenes - and into the soul - of the highly gifted, rebellious and tormented designer. It will be released July 20.


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