Welcome back to The Spin! Today's newsletter has a strong focus on technology, from mobile shopping to 3D printing and artificial intelligence. New tech might even shape the development of yoga wear. There is also an ironic toy bag brand, that decided to preemptively sue French luxury company Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton... Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Brick-and-mobile. US retail sales for 2018 are expected to come in at about $3.7 trillion, with 36 percent influenced by digital factors like mobile search, digital ads and marketplaces. According to Forrester Research, smartphones influence 31 percent of US sales at physical stores. By 2022, this rate is expected to grow to 90 percent. To keep up, experts urge physical retailers to improve customer communication with new technologies including navigation tools, interactive screens and increased personalization.

Magical marketing. In addition to further digitization, physical retailers also strive to offer deeper and more meaningful experiences. Some of the best experiential retail initiatives in the US include the Nike Live members-only location in Los Angeles, Nike’s House of Innovation and the Adidas flagship (paywall) on New York's famed Fifth Avenue, as well as Allbirds, Everlane and the gender neutral Phluid Project in Soho.


Ex Machina. In the last two years, the share of US retailers who deploy Artificial Intelligence (AI) has grown from 4 to 28 percent. For merchants that are able to scale and expand the scope of their existing projects, the technology offers cost-saving potential to the tune of $340 billion. So far, only 1 percent of retailers have achieved this level of development, but the sector is catching up. By 2022, retail spending on AI is projected to reach $7.3 billion.

The next industrial revolution. On the production side, 3D printing is seen as a fast evolving technology able (paywall) to reduce waste, speed up production cycles and save cost. Leading 3D creators in apparel are Dutch designers Iris van Herpen and Anouk Wipprecht as well as Britain’s Cat Taylor, who expects 3D fashion to become a massive part of 2019. Brands like Adidas, Under Armour, Hugo Boss and Danit Peleg have also started experimenting with the technology.


Upward salute. According to Technavio's Global Yoga Apparel Market report (paywall), the global yoga market will grow at a 6 percent CAGR between 2019 and 2023. A top trend is the increased popularity of customized yoga clothing, fueled by strides in mass customization technologies like 3D body scanning, digital printing and CAD computer-aided designing.

Labels that lie. As luxury brands like Gucci and Versace are banning real fur from their offerings, fur supporters counter that it has less environmental impact than faux fur, which is usually made of synthetic polymeric fibers such as acrylic, modacrylic, and/or polyester. There have even been cases of real fur from raccoons, rabbits, dogs and cats being marketed as fake. For now, purists might want to stay away from fur altogether.


Toy Story. MGM Entertainment has filed a lawsuit against LVMH to preemptively prevent the french luxury company from blocking the business of its Pooey Puitton division. Pooey Puitton markets kids' purses in the shape of what MGM calls “a pile of magical unicorn poop”, adorned with interpretations of Louis Vuitton's decorative elements. Pooey Puitton purses retail for around $80 and currently sell for $40 to $185 on eBay.


Mourning Blake Nordstrom. The co-president of US department store chain Nordstrom unexpectedly died on January 2, just a month after being diagnosed with lymphoma. He was 58 years old. The great-grandson of Swedish immigrant John Nordstrom, who founded the company in 1901, led the retailer with his brothers, Peter and Eric Nordstrom, who will continue (paywall) in their positions of co-presidents.


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