In our Retail Round-Up we explore the future of retail, its impact on the modern shopper and the latest ways that brands are using experience to add value and drive footfall. We review the new and innovative technology that is changing the way we shop and how we live, and also evaluate the trends redefining the grocery sector this month.
Adidas has opened its most digital store yet. The Oxford Street flagship features LED screens and flooring that can be changed with a click of a button depending on the atmosphere the brand wants to create. Interactive changing room mirrors use RFID technology to recognise products and provide information, allowing shoppers to request different sizes and colours without leaving the space. The Adidas mobile app is also a key feature within the store concept. Shoppers can scan products, check stock, request different sizes and purchase directly from their smartphones. A ‘Bring It to Me’ feature uses in-store geolocation tracking to provide a seamless browsing experience. Mobile technology continues to impact all areas of consumers’ lives; from how, when and to what degree they communicate, interact and share information. Brands and retailers leading the way are driving in-store agility and are delivering an increasingly personalised shopping experience.
Toy brand, Lego, is exploring whether it can offer shoppers the chance to rent Lego products in a bid to become more environmentally friendly. Plastic pollution has become one of the most crucial environmental issues for consumers and Lego has faced pressure to become more sustainable. On average Lego produces approximately 36 billion bricks a year so by providing a rental service Lego can considerably cut down its impact on the environment. Lego is not the first brand to do this; IKEA, Urban Outfitters and H&M are also capitalising on the rental trend. The scheme highlights how brands and retailers are evolving from traditional business models in order to become more sustainably viable.
Some of the biggest brands and retailers in the world are offering shoppers the opportunity to “buy now, pay later” without interest or fees. ASOS, JD Sport and Zara are among the 130,000 retailers who are offering this service through Klarna, allowing shoppers to pay for their purchases at a later date or in installments. A pay later Klarna customer typically spends between 10 - 20% more than a credit card customer and due to the convenience of the payment, retailers have seen a 20% increase in purchase frequency. For cash-strapped millennials in particular, Klarna removed one of their biggest issues when online shopping – waiting for returns to be credited back to their account. Offering shoppers a different way to pay for products has become key for brands and retailers to connect with customers who want a seamless, easy and convenient way to pay.
H&M has opened a new hyper-local experience store within a creative district of Berlin, that blends physical retail with digital. The store features Microsoft Surface Studio touchscreens that allow customers to browse H&M’s complete collection and build their own outfits. Employees are also kitted out with wearable technology where they receive notifications such as a call from a fitting room. In terms of experience, the store has a regular schedule of events for lectures, fashion talks and yoga. The space also boasts a café, garden and showroom space where upcoming trends and looks will be presented to customers before making their store debut. H&M’s hyper-local store is a sign of how retailers are changing their tactics in order to become more connected and collaborated with the community in which they are based.
Nordstrom has opened a new luxury New York experience store where shoppers can have cocktails, manicures, on-demand alterations, and collect their orders at a 24/7 pickup station, all used to increase dwell time within the store. The 320,000 sq. ft store is driven by collaborations with influencers and designers through in-store events and pop-ups with emerging brands. These include Nordstrom X Nike, a dedicated Burberry space and a Christian Louboutin pop-up inspired by Louboutin’s childhood home in Paris. Brand collaborations reinforce the importance of B2B association and allow brands and retailers to create interesting, engaging content across all platforms to engage with new and existing shoppers.
Toys R Us US is returning with adventure pop-up shops. Families will be able to explore dozens of rooms filled with toys, jump in a giant ball pit and climb through a Jurassic Jungle. When Toys R Us was at its best, children could happily wander around the huge stores for hours, however, this model is no longer fit for purpose among consumers. By offering families the chance to fully immersive themselves in an unbelievable experience Toys R Us is back in consumers’ minds. However, we can’t help but wonder if parents will be willing to pay $28 for an adult ticket when they will not be taking part in the children's experience.
Organic baby food brand, Ella’s Kitchen, launched the world’s first ‘Pram Drive-Thru’ as a means of educating parents on how healthy food can be convenient and fun. The experience included sensory activities, one-to-one weaning advice from expert infant nutritionists and limited edition ‘Veg Peas’. The brand polled 1,507 parents of under-fives and found that 69% are concerned that their children are not eating enough vegetables. A further 46% of parents also admit their children are not getting enough vegetables. This fun and interactive way of educating parents brings together a community of new parents who all go through the same troubles, creating a safe space to talk openly.
Marks & Spencer’s Clapham concept supermarket features an urban farm to allow customers to buy fresh herbs, pizza from a glitter ball oven and free wine and coffee tasting. Sustainability is on high priority in-store from plastic-free packaging for fruit and vegetables to fridges that consume 20% less energy than before. The store also has great communications for shoppers, allowing them to learn how they can pair their perfect wine with their favourite dishes. M&S’s supermarket is a lot like looking into the grocery store of the future, making the food shopping experience all the more exciting and engaging. As the rise of concept supermarkets has been prominent in European cities, we are excited to see how other retailers will adapt to this change of environment.
Big clients. Tender years. Seriously creative work.
Here’s the story so far.