Welcome back to The Spin! The speedy rescue of House of Fraser's Oxford Street flagship proves that landlords are recognizing the importance of long-term relationships. As most retailers struggle to maintain their businesses, TJX and brands like Gucci and Eileen Fisher show how to get customers into the store - and keep them there. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Cheers, Ulrike


Saved by the bell. Following speedy negotiations with the landlord, House of Fraser’s London flagship store on Oxford Street will now remain open. The location was among 31 stores scheduled for closure before HoF fell into administration and was acquired by Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct earlier this month. Ashley aims to keep about 47 of HoF’s 59 UK stores open.


Millennial magnet. With its ever popular treasure hunt approach, TJX Companies managed to increase store traffic for the 16th consecutive quarter. As US department stores like Kohl’s and Macy's report slowing growth rates, the off-price apparel and home fashions retailer played to its strengths and saw Q2 net sales grow 12 percent to $9.3 billion while income jumped 34 percent to $740 million.



House of magic. Gucci’s revamped London flagship (image gallery) is a shining example for how to build a luxury temple that appeals to the senses. In addition to its women’s and men’s collections, the 1,200 sq.m. space offers accessories, Gucci Décor and the Italian house’s collaboration with Dapper Dan. With its theatrical decor and a DIY service to personalize purchases it makes for a magical retreat in this digital age.

DIY feeling. Eileen Fisher’s new 5,000 sq.ft. Making Space concept in Brooklyn combines fashion retail with consumer-engaging gallery shows, workshops and movie screenings. The in-store experience also includes a rotating line-up of artists-in-residence starting with Cara Marie Piazza, who uses natural dyes to turn old Eileen Fisher garments into one-of-a-kind Remade items.


Ain't no mountain high enough. Online shopping has become so convenient, so cheap and so addicting that Americans are slowly turning into hoarders. Some don’t even remember buying some of the stuff that continues arriving at their doors, piling into mountains of only marginally needed merchandise.


The client who wasn't there. Walmart has filed several patents for a virtual showroom with automated fulfillment. The system allows shoppers to use a VR-headset and sensor-enabled gloves to “visit” a virtual Walmart store, grab items and have them delivered. While tech enthusiasts applaud the innovation, critics wonder what Walmart might offer to lure their hurried customers into full VR garb.

Doing it on their own. Nike has launched a new app-based scan-to-try feature that allows customers in stores to request specific shoe models to try-on without interacting with employees. Upon scanning a bar code the system shows available colors and sizes. Once chosen, a store associate retrieves the item and hands it over without staying around, allowing customers to decide in private.


Menacing mask. In additional Nike news, the sports giant is being widely criticized for a “menacing” looking ski mask, which critics say feeds off gun culture and gang violence. The $70 Nike x MMW balaclava, which is part of a collaboration with Alyx founder and designer Matthew Williams, has already been removed from Nike’s website. Several other sports companies offer equally disturbing looking balaclavas - so far without any backlash.


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