Welcome back to The Spin! Today we look at the increasing influence - and cost savings - artificial intelligence is about to bestow on our industry. There’s also a takeover attempt for German Metro AG, and several out-of-the-box attempts by different athletic brands and retailers to expand their offerings. Enjoy the read and feel free to share! Best, Ulrike


Courting Metro. Metro AG is about to be taken over (paywall) by Czech investor Daniel Křetínský and Slovakian Patrik Tkáč through (press release) the Munich-based holding, EP Global Commerce VI, which already holds 11 percent in the German retail giant. According to Metro’s management board the cash offer of €16 per ordinary and €13.80 for each preference share substantially undervalues (press release) the company at €5.8 billion. Still, its biggest shareholder already agreed to sell its 15.2 percent stake.

Heaven can't wait. This quarter, Amazon plans to invest $800 million to make one-day delivery the default shipping mode for its Prime members. Now we know why: When offered one-day shipping, Amazon customers buy more products and order more frequently. According to a survey by investment firm RBC Capital, one-day-shipping also leads to increased customer loyalty and higher satisfaction.


Inception. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly increasing. At retail, the technology could curb marketing costs by targeting customers by individual preferences, thus increasing profitability by 60 percent. In addition, AI can speed up and improve business processes, decrease dependence on human labor and reduce training costs, saving merchants more than half in expenses. Retailers who already use AI for those applications include luxury retailer Neiman Marcus, sports giant Adidas and the H&M fast fashion chain.

Keep AI on it! To prevent theft and errors at checkouts, Walmart currently employs artificial intelligence at over 1,000 stores. Its Missed Scan Detection system uses computer vision technology by companies like Irish specialist Everseen to monitor for items that go unscanned or are being mis-scanned at both attended and self-checkout areas, alerting store personnel in case of problems.


Getting out of Tod's. After five years on the job, Andrea Incontri is leaving his position as creative director for menswear at Tod’s, following long-time CEO Stefano Sincini and managing director Claudio Castiglioni. In response to stagnating sales, president Diego Della Valle has reshaped the Italian label's management and recently named Bottega Veneta’s former CEO Carlo Alberto Beretta general manager. Capsules with designers like Alessandro Dell’Aqua and Alber Elbaz should make Tod's more desirable again.


Stretching the Spandex. To keep growing, North American sports brands and retailers are furiously expanding into new territories. Reebok recently launched a comfortable maternity collection in the US, scheduled to go global in fall 2020, and expanded its size range for womenswear to 3X. Canadian yoga wear specialist Lululemon debuted a body care range in June, just months after sports giant Nike came out with its own yoga wear line for men and women. Meanwhile, Puma partnered with Maybelline for a sports make-up line, while Outdoor Voices added exercise dresses to its assortment.

Store for Isabel. Paris-based designer label Isabel Marant is opening (paywall; translated by Google) its first store in Germany. It will move into a former St. Emile location at Hamburg’s elegant Neuer Wall 80, and is expected to open in Q4. Isabel Marant already operates five stores in Paris, where the label was founded in 1994, plus stores in Amsterdam (image gallery), Milan, Rome, Madrid, London and several Asian markets, as well as shop-in-shops in 35 countries, and a growing eCommerce business.


Amuse and titillate. Sales of newspapers and magazines have dropped dramatically, and news stands are struggling to redefine their raison d’être. In place of piles of printed paper, innovative concepts now offer a wide variety of useful products for passers-by and commuters, including seasonal items, head phones and even vibrators, all with the goal to amuse and titillate.


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