Image: Holymesh
Retail

Holymesh as Winner of the “First Store by Alexa” Competition

Alexa visitors and Facebook fans, along with an expert jury in a final session, evaluated three finalists from the “Best Newcomer” category.

The clear winner: An online store with stylish clothing and accessory collections by Germany’s successful social influencers that wanted to expand its business offline.

In the competition’s final jury meeting, “First Store by Alexa” in Berlin on March 17, the three finalists presented their business concepts.

An innovative start-up prevailed against the competition and will now open a store in Alexa in November: Holymesh won both the public vote, in which nearly 2,000 Alexa customers and Facebook fans participated, and the final jury vote.

It is a young, online business based in Cologne that sells stylish, trendy clothing and accessory collections by German social influencers exclusively in its online shop. Its partners are some of Germany’s most famous and successful YouTubers and social media stars—including Y-Titty, Shirin David, and Herr Bergmann.

The new “Holymesh Millennial Store” will combine online and offline and bring the collections by the YouTubers, social media stars, and the private-label “Holycollection” to life for their fans. Regular events with social influencers are therefore an important part of the concept for the first offline store in Alexa. The brand’s target audience is socially well-connected young people. All this fits perfectly with the concept and customer structure of Alexa, the Mall of Stars.

Retail trend: online goes offline

Alexa innen 300
Image: Sonae Sierra

Jens Peter Klatt, Head of Multichannel at Mister Spex, on the jury’s decision: “All three finalists presented truly great concepts and this did not make the jury’s decision in the final session easy.

Ultimately, though, Holymesh’s planned Millennial Store impressed us the most. Since we ourselves have been present in Alexa for more than a year with our own first offline Mister Spex store and have had excellent customer traffic, I am sure that Holymesh’s concept will be successful. I’m looking forward to a good neighborhood.”

The Founders & Managing Directors of Holymesh, Nadja Bilek and Jasmina Borgard, responded enthusiastically to the news of their competitive success: “We are very happy to be the winner of the ‘First Store by Alexa’ competition.

Our community has given us very positive feedback about our participation. It’s our first step into bricks-and-mortar retail and a little experiment. But we are sure that Alexa provides us with the best location we could wish for in this step into the offline world.”

Now come the next steps: In close cooperation and with the support of Alexa’s center management, Holymesh will work with store designers and shop fitters to design its first store. Conversion works commence in October—and the new store opens at the beginning of November—on Alexa’s 10th anniversary.

Second & third place: Stulle Berlin & LakritzMitte

A big “thanks” also to LakritzMitte and Stulle Berlin for their participation in “First Store by Alexa” and their first-class concepts. LakritzMitte presented a concept store with the largest licorice-themed selection in the German-speaking world in the fields of food, non-food (e.g. soaps & creams), and merchandise (T-shirts, hats, etc.).

The concept for Stulle’s shop included a distinctive selection of unique, brightly colored design items, a creative island for children, and an image gallery. The materials used (truck tarpaulin, leather) are virtually indestructible; each item is extremely long lasting and sustainable.

About “First Store by Alexa”

“First Store by Alexa” is a pan-European retail casting for innovative store ideas organized by the shopping and leisure center Alexa on Berlin’s Alexanderplatz. The initiators: Union Investment, Sonae Sierra, and 21 media. The attractive prize for the winners: six months’ rent free in Alexa. Alexa on Alexanderplatz is one of the most successful shopping centers in Germany as well as one of the busiest, with 16 million visitors each year. All information on the competition: www.firststorebyalexa.com
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