Welcome back to The Spin! Contrary to expectations, Alexa has turned out to be quite a reluctant shopper. For brick-and-mortar customers, Matchesfashion and DSW have launched new, immersive store concepts, while a robotic fortune teller texts passersby their future from New York City shop windows. Enjoy the read and - as always - feel free to share! Cheers, Ulrike


Alexa's abstinence. Voice shopping, which was projected to reach $40 billion in the US and UK by 2022, is less popular than anticipated. According to a report (paywall) by The Information, only 2 percent of Alexa-users have made voice purchases this year, and many of those who did might not do it again.


Soaring stilettos. Fueled (paywall) by strong results at its Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors brands, Michael Kors Holding beat Q1 sales and earnings estimates, prompting the company to raise its outlook. Although the watches division did not meet (earnings call) expectations, investors were pleased and sent the stock up more than 6 percent on Wednesday morning.

Green laser. To stay ahead of competition in the fast-growing denim market, Levi Strauss & Co is going to replace water, chemicals, sanding blocks and manual workers by innovative lasers. Designed to cut, distress and personalize denim, this technology is going to reduce the need to put out many finishes for consumers to evaluate, giving them the opportunity to create their own.


License to steal. Successful retailers often find useful ideas outside their core businesses. Warby Parker, for example, was modeled after the service-oriented Apple Stores, which in turn took inspiration from the Ritz-Carlton hotel chain, which adopted its lineup practice from the early restaurants of France


Bringing the website to life. Luxury e-tailer Matchesfashion, which started 1987 as a single store in London, is opening a new six-floor community, event and retail space. In addition to clothes and accessories, the townhouse at 5 Carlos Place in London’s Mayfair district offers designer talks, book signings, yoga classes and pop-up restaurants.

Elevating the shoe. US shoe discounter DSW opened a concept store in Las Vegas. At half the size of their regular stores it features a multi-sensory video tunnel and a vending machine-style shoevator (press release) as well as nail bars, repair services and a new store design based on its Polaris lab (video) in Ohio.


King of quilts. Raf Simons, Chief Creative Officer at Calvin Klein, is going to be honored by the American Folk Art Museum for his work with traditional American quilts. The Belgian-born designer extensively uses (video) quilts in Calvin Klein’s 205W39NYC luxury line as well as store interiors, advertising campaigns and furniture design projects.


Fortunate sofa. Online furniture brand Burrow has popped up in five vacant storefronts in New York City, drawing attention to its modular seating with an animatronic fortune teller. The Lord of Leisure (video) prompts passersby to text him to get their fortune told. Upon receiving a text he waves his hand over a crystal ball before replying. Participants can also win free Burrow product.


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