(Author : Emma Hutchings)
Not Just Another Store is partnering with designers to curate events, installations and exhibitions.

London Store Is Trying To Break The Norms Of Traditional Retail Spaces

Not Just Another Store, a new concept store curated by Utter and its brand Marr, has opened in London’s Shoreditch. The store positions collaboration at its core and will form partnerships with various designers for innovative events, installations and exhibitions.

The retail space features art from London-based artists and a carefully selected homeware and lifestyle department. In a blog post, the company says it will use the space to enact the future of experiential retail through digital innovation and interactive games. Not Just Another Store includes more than 30 affordable emerging brands across womenswear and menswear, literature, art and home. The shop also includes a coffee bar and salad bar offering brunch, lunch, juice and smoothies served by local independent chefs and baristas.

Source : psfk.com

(Author : Jon Russell)
 Alibaba last week announced a deal to help Ford sell electric vehicles in China but, aside from the big names involved, the most intriguing part was a proposed vending machine for sales. Now the firm has spilled details of what exactly that will look like.

Alibaba will soon begin selling cars using these gigantic vending machines

The ‘Car Vending Machines’ are futuristic buildings that look like a gigantic version of something you’d find in Toys R Us. Alibaba has made a push to integrate its online sales platforms with offline retail, including a recent $2.9 billion investment in hypermarket operator Sun Art, but this new project is one of the clearest examples of its strategy to date. The process starts when a customer uses Alibaba’s Taobao app to scan a car that they want to test, and potentially buy. Once the system recognizes the vehicle it lets them pick a color and, once they enter basic information and snap a selfie, arrange for a test-drive if the vehicle is available.

The customer then heads over the unmanned vending machine facility and, after showing their face (hence the earlier selfie), their order is retrieved and the car is dispatched. The test-drive is for three days, after which they can buy the vehicle outright via Taobao or arrange to test a different model.

Alibaba said it will open two stores in January, one in Shanghai and the other in Nanjing. The ultimate goal is to make buying a car as simple as a can of coke, and it plans to open “dozens” more outlets across China in 2018.

Allowing anyone to just take a car for three days is risky business and, alongside some T&Cs such as a limit of five test-drives per two months, Alibaba is relying on its own financial services to vet and identify who is borrowing the vehicles. Users only qualify for a free test drive if they have reached a certain level on its Zhima credit-scoring service, while they must also be Alibaba Super Members. This isn’t the first time Alibaba has sold vehicles — or other large ticket items like airplanes — online, but in this instance is on blending it with a physical retail experience. It looks good in a three-minute video, but the key test will be real life. Vending machine car showrooms aren’t a new concept. One launched in Singapore this year, and other projects in Germany and Nashville have been around longer still.

Source : techcrunch.com

(Author : Obi Anyanwu)
Target announced on Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire Shipt, Inc., the online same-day delivery platform for $550 million in cash. The transaction is expected to close before the end of 2017.

Target to acquire same-day delivery platform Shipt

The Minneapolis-based retailer will offer the same-day delivery service to half of its stores by early 2018 and to most of its stores in major markets before the 2018 holiday season. The same-day delivery service will be offered for groceries, essentials, home, electronics, and other products at launch and will include all major product categories by the end of 2019.

“We laid out an ambitious strategic agenda in early 2017, which included a focus on giving our guests a number of convenient ways to shop with Target, whether it’s ordering online and picking up in one of our stores, driving up to pick up an order, or taking advantage of services like our new Restock program,” said Target EVP and COO John Mulligan.

“With Shipt’s network of local shoppers and their current market penetration, we will move from days to hours, dramatically accelerating our ability to bring affordable same-day delivery to guests across the country. ”

Founded in 2014, Shipt offers personalized grocery delivery across the US, utilizing a network of over 20,000 personal shoppers in over 72 markets. The Birmingham, AL-based company connects members to shoppers through its app. With the acquisition, Shipt will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Target, but will continue to operate independently. All Shipt employees will continue to operate out of the company’s two offices in Birmingham and San Francisco and CEO Bill Smith will remain in his role, but will now report to John Mulligan.

The same-day delivery concept has quietly grown over the years with companies like Net-a-Porter offering the service in New York City and Amazon offering the service under special circumstances. Macy’s this fall expanded its same-day delivery service to 15 additional markets in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

Source : us.fashionnetwork.com

(Author : Ben Stevens)
Westfield is set to be bought by Paris-based Unibail Rodamco in a deal that will create a combined global estate of £54 billion.

Westfield bought by Unibail Rodamco in £18.5bn deal

The shopping centre giant which owns some of the largest retail site in the UK, is to be sold to Unibail Rodamco for £18.5 billion, paying Westfield Corporation’s Australian owners £5.66 a share at a 17.8 per cent premium. Unibail Rodamco is the largest commercial real estate company in Europe and will own 104 properties across the world when the acquisition is complete, reportedly resulting in cost savings of $100 million a year.

“The acquisition of Westfield is a natural extension of Unibail-Rodamco’s strategy of concentration, differentiation and innovation,” Unibail chief executive Christophe Cuvillier said. “It adds a number of new attractive retail markets in London and the wealthiest catchment areas in the United States. It provides a unique platform of superior quality shopping destinations supported by experienced professionals of both Unibail-Rodamco and Westfield.”

Westfield’s Frank Lowy added: “The transaction announced today is the culmination of the strategic journey Westfield has been on since its 2014 restructure.

“We see this transaction as highly compelling for Westfield’s security holders and Unibail-Rodamco’s shareholders alike. Unibail Rodamco’s track record makes it the natural home for the legacy of Westfield’s brand and business.”

The announcement comes just a week after Westfield’s largest UK shopping centre rival Intu announced a £3.4 billion deal with property giant Hammerson, set to create the UK’s largest property company worth £21 billion.

Source : retailgazette.co.uk

(Author : Inside Retail Hong Kong)
Lifestyle brand Aigle Hong Kong has relocated and redesigned its outlet in IFC Mall as a concept store. Presenting a new French lifestyle retail experience, the store has beige tones with Aigle’s exclusive patterned ceramic tiles featured in the floors, walls and on the exterior.

Aigle Hong Kong introduces concept store

At the entry the store has an unusual glass folding door. The doorfront and exterior wall are embellished with cut-metal embellishments with the Aigle ceramic tiled logo. Customers are first greeted by a “logo wall”, inspired by a Paris metro mosaic wall. A new boots bar on one side of the store has aged-wood fittings, and four main areas showcase the 160-year-old brand’s products.

Aigle Hong Kong introduces concept store1

Singer/actress Gigi Leung Wing-kei was special guest for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and shared her styling tips with guests. It is the second time Aigle has polished its image in Hong Kong. Earlier it revamped its K11 store in Tsim Sha Tsui into a globetrotter-themed concept store, a world’s first.

Source : insideretail.hk

(Author : Young Bae)
The cosmetics brand ‘Espoir’ introduced a new concept store ‘Make-up Pub’ reminiscent of draft beer house. Eespoir, a professional makeup brand, opened the first make-up pub concept store in Hongdae in November under the concept of Lively, Free like a lounge pub.

Espoir introduced new concept store ‘Make-up Pub’ in Seoul

The newly launched ‘ Espoir Makeup Pub’ Concept Store is the first concept store designed for the millennial generation that pursues an enjoyable makeup experience. In this concept store, Espoir’ has provided special services that can only be experienced at the Hongdae Makeup Pub, as well as the best products that have been recognized for its superior product quality. The make-up pub, which opened in Donggyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, is filled with a variety of ll items commonly found in draft beer, just like its name suggests.

There are many different colors of foundation on the nozzles where cool draft beer comes out and a variety of color cosmetics on the cutting board.
On the other hand, staffs with color charts like menus will find the perfect color for consumers. This concept store provides exotic spaces and a differentiated service so that anyone who wants to change freely visit and experience brand.

Espoir introduced new concept store ‘Make-up Pub’ in Seoul1

As soon as customers enter the store, the color mix bar captures their attention with its gorgeous neon lights. It is a space where anyone can enjoy the ‘Hot Colors’ mix performance that the artist suggests and mix colors directly. The Face Tailoring Zone, reminiscent of draft beer machines, provides professional consulting for customers to fine right color and texture for their skin.

Apart from that, there is a mirror room where customers can put on self-makeup by themselves and have make-up service from professional makeup artists without making advance reservations. A variety of samples and beverages were provided free of charge to all visitors.

Meanwhile, in order to commemorate the opening of the concept store, the brand has presented with a special coaster with the ‘Make UP PUB’ logo.

Espoir official said “here is the ‘Make-up Pub’ where customers can find the best color and choose the best color cosmetics.” “We will have more ideas and provide good products to meet customer’s expectations.

Source : retailinasia.com

(Author : Zac Palm)
Walmart and BuzzFeed’s Tasty have announced a new partnership to sell kitchen supplies and ingredients.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Walmart and Jet.com struck a deal with BuzzFeed’s Tasty. The partnership will place links for the retailer’s products in Tasty’s how-to recipe and cooking videos on its app. When Tasty app users finish watching a video, they can scroll down to the bottom of the page and find relevant kitchen products from Walmart and Jet.com.

These products range from large appliances like a slow cooker to smaller utensils such as measuring cups. Starting early next year, viewers will also find links to over 2,000 grocery ingredients on both websites beneath videos showing how they can be transformed into a complete meal. The partnership was announced in a Walmart blog post.

Source : psfk.com

(Author : Jeromy Lloyd)
The giant new retail location lets visitors see inside the roastery’s operations and order from anywhere. Starbucks has just opened a giant new roastery and cafe in Shanghai that serves as part-cafe, part-production facility and part-retail gift store. 

Shanghai’s AR-filled Starbucks

Among all that, it houses multiple points where visitors can learn about the store’s products and processes through augmented reality. Within the 30,000-square-foot building are several interaction points, such as at its giant roasting cask, where visitors who have downloaded a dedicated app (or use visible QR codes) see animations on their phone display showing how Starbucks roasts its beans. The company says the Shanghai location, which opened Wednesday, is the only one with such AR capabilities in its chain.

“Coffee is already such a deeply sensorial experience,” said Emily Chang, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Starbucks China. “We wanted to take that customer experience even further.”

Some of the AR interaction points also produce menus, so patrons can theoretically order from anywhere in the store with one of the roaming baristas.

Shanghai’s AR-filled Starbucks1

Source : strategyonline.ca

(Author : Inside Retail Hong Kong)
Alibaba Group plans to open 2000 branches of its Hema supermarket, which aims to merge online and offline shopping, in China over next three to five years.

Woman Pushing Shopping Cart In Supermarket

It opened its first Hema last year and will end with year with 22 stores. Its latest outlets are in Beijing, Guiyang, Hangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen, and this month it opened its second store in Ningbo to be followed by one in Suzhou next week. Hema stores are part of Alibaba’s “new retail” strategy that enables customers to shop, order groceries for home delivery and eat in-store. Purchases can be made through the Hema mobile app, which is linked to Alipay.

The stores focus on a wide assortment of food, and the brand places an emphasis on fresh – and live – seafood, reports Undercurrent News. Moreover, the business model combines supermarket, restaurant and e-commerce, complete with mobile app. This means customers can buy items in the supermarket for the restaurant staff to cook for them.

At the moment, about half of sales at Hema stores take place online. The company claims that customers within a 3km radius of a store can have their shopping delivered within 30 minutes.

Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang says Hema draws on data and smart logistics technology to seamlessly integrate online/offline systems.

“Hema’s goal is to broaden the new retail model by working with retail partners like Sanjiang Shopping Club and Xingli Department Store,” says Hema CEO Hou Yi. “As our model becomes more established, it can be shared with other traditional retailers to help them transform in the digital age.”

Source : insideretail.hk

(Author : Jon Russell)
Ford has put a lot of focus on China’s electric vehicle market — with a local joint ventureexpected to lead to 15 electric or hybrid models on sale in the country by 2025 — and today the automotive giant announced a tie-in with Alibaba to fulfill its ambitious goals.

North American International Auto Show Features Latest Car Models

The scope of alliance is fairly broad and vague at this point, but a large chunk of  the”strategic collaboration” appears to be based around developing a direct sales channel to reach consumers in China. Alibaba is the country’s largest e-commerce firm that’s best known for its Taobao marketplace and T-Mall service for brands. The alliance could see Ford utilize T-Mall to sell cars to consumers — the company has sold items like cargo jets via Taobao before — but there could be room for collaboration within Alibaba’s ‘Next Retail’ strategy that unites online and offline commerce.

The Chinese giant recently invested in national hypermarket operator Sun Retail in a move that it hopes will increase the synergies between e-commerce and physical retailing, and automotive is one vertical where that mesh is more obviously beneficial. People like to touch, feel and drive cars before they buy them, but yet doing basic research and purchasing online is more productive than visiting multiple showrooms.

A source also indicated that Alibaba may consider a “vending machine” style approach to selling cars. We’ve seen such an approach before — like this compact 15-story operation in Singapore that looks like a child’s toy box and examples in Germany — and that could be one branch of Alibaba’s retail strategy in the future.

Beyond sales, the companies said they will explore opportunities to work together on technology, including cloud computing for big data analysis, digital marketing services and using Alibaba’s AliOS operating system.

China’s state-owned media predicted than more than 800,000 green vehicles would be sold this year, up more than 50 percent on 2016, thanks in no small part to a government incentive that covers 26 different models. Data is scant, but that’s almost certain to make China the world’s largest market for electric vehicles. Already it has attracted Tesla, which is planning its own China-based factory, while VW is among the international firms that has invested in order to make its mark in the country.

“China is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic digital markets, thriving on innovation with customers’ online and offline experiences converging rapidly. Collaborating with leading technology players builds on our vision for smart vehicles in a smart world to reimagine and revolutionize consumers’ mobility experiences,” Jim Hackett, Ford President and CEO, said in a statement.

Executive chairman William C. Ford Jr. was even more direct in his assessment of the importance of China.

“When I think of where E.V.s are going, it’s clearly the case that China will lead the world in E.V. development,” he told the New York Times.

Alibaba announced its first internet car in partnership with Chinese firm SAIC last year — the vehicle runs AliOS — and it claims to be powering more than 400,000 vehicles across China’s roads today. This deal with Ford might not culminate in a Ford car running AliOS, but it does represent a first deal between Alibaba and an automaker from outside of China. That makes it a significant tie-in even the exact nature of the arrangement is rather frustratingly unclear at this point.

Source : techcrunch.com