The Retail Round-Up


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.

Image source: Bournemouth Echo

John Lewis opens experimental concept store in Southampton

Department store John Lewis and grocer Waitrose have opened the doors to a new experimental concept store to engage shoppers by putting experience and service at the heart of the store. Shoppers can spend the morning on the rooftop farm shop, head to the Waitrose & Partners Cookery School to try their hand in baking bread or pasta-making for lunch, and in the afternoon, stop for a 15-minute fashion fix in its style studio. Over the festive season customers can also learn to make holiday treats such as gingerbread and yule logs. The breadth of workshops and experiences take place in the stores ‘stay and play’ areas to help increase dwell time in-store and shows that John Lewis and Waitrose understand the value of selling experiences over products.


Image source: Tech Crunch


Piercing shop and brand, Studs, has combined brick-and-mortar storefronts for piercings with a retail destination where customers can shop for piercing products, after-care items and collections. Currently, the market is split between offline retailers, who do the piercing themselves, and online retailers that shoppers turn to for products – making it difficult to develop a relationship with consumers. Retailers such as Claire's, who are also aimed at the teenage demographic, have lagged behind because they haven't evolved with the rapidly changing market. Studs have jumped into this gap in the market to provide shoppers with an exciting and cool environment to get their first piercings.


Automated Albert Heijn store lands at Schiphol Airport

The dutch supermarket chain have partnered with AiFi to bring an autonomous store at Schiphol Airport. The one-of-a-kind full automated container size store allows customers to scan their debit card in order to get in the store. Once they've selected the products they want, shoppers leave the store and groceries are automatically registered and paid for. The scheme, which is similar to Amazon’s popular Go stores, helps to save time for shoppers by powering supermarkets in highly trafficked areas such as airports. The NanoStore opening is yet another step forward in retail innovation, showing us what the future of all grocery shopping will look like.


Image source: Retail Dive

Sustainability is high on the agenda for Adidas

From the opening of their London flagship store, which houses the new Stella McCartney range made completely from recycled plastic, to an AR experience that highlights environmental issues, it's clear that sustainability is high on the agenda for Adidas. The sportswear brand helped to develop the App For The Oceans, which showcases how its shoes are made from recycled plastic. Shoppers can point their cameras at digital displays around Adidas' Paris store to view a virtual ocean that collects plastic in the water. After users help to collect the ocean debris, they can watch how Adidas converts plastic waste into shoes. Cause-driven campaigns are often well-received by Gen Z and millennials who are driving change and respond positively to those brands and retailers who follow suit. Adidas have labelled themselves as a brand who cares about the environment and its transparency will help win over shoppers.


Image source: Hollywood Reporter

Netflix moves into a physical space

Netflix has acquired a lease to turn New York City’s iconic Paris Theatre into a central brand hub for its events, screenings and theatrical releases. Subscription services and streaming has become the front and center for independent movies as people enjoy staying at home to watch. Netflix could harness both online and offline spaces while gaining greater control of its brand environment and consumer-facing experiences through a physical environment - an area Netflix has been concentrating more on in recent years. It is interesting to see an online brand moving into the physical retail space, even an online subscription service like Netflix.


Image source: TimeOut

Fujifilm House of Photography

Fujifilm has opened its House of Photography in London's Covent Garden. Spread over three floors, the Fujifilm House of Photography aims to inspire visitors to get creative and immerse themselves in the world of photography. The space brings together inspiring professionals, enthusiasts, amateur photographers and smartphone users to get the most out of sharing and printing photos under one roof. The House of Photography is an open-plan, collaborative environment with free studio spaces for guests to use. there is also a gallery space launching with an exhibition of photographs of David Bowie by renowned photographer Markus Klinko. The new store format injects fun and creativity found in photography. Fujifilm has become a great example of a retailer reacting to changes in the market and rapidly repositioning itself in an evolving landscape.


Image source: Delish

Galaxy goes vegan with plant-based chocolates

Made with a hazelnut paste and rice milk alternative, making Galaxy the first major milk chocolate brand to launch a fully vegan alternative. The three flavours include Smooth Orange, Caramel & Sea Salt and Caramelised Hazelnut complete with recyclable and compostable packaging. More and more brands are creating diverse products and initiatives that appeal to those with vegan and plant-based diets, whether that's because of environmental factors or animal rights issues. In fact, 88% of consumers like brands that help them improve their environmental and social footprint. The launch of its vegan chocolate has allowed Galaxy to reach these consumers, without comprising on its classic smooth and creamy taste.


Image source: Retail Gazette

M&S's urban farming

The success of Marks and Spencer's urban farming in it's Clapham Junction concept store means the technology is being rolled out in several other locations. The urban farm is used to freshly grown and harvested selected herbs while consuming less energy than before. The technology combines vertical farming units with IOT technologies and machine learning. Each unit remotely learns, adjusts and continuously improves to ensure each plant grows better than the last one and uses 95% less water and 75% less fertiliser than traditional agriculture. M&S supermarkets are leading the way in modernising and making grocery stores more sustainable.


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