(Author : Ellen Smith)
More often than not, homeowners are left sacrificing their interior aesthetic to incorporate pet-friendly furniture, which is why IKEA recently launched the ‘LURVIG’ pet product range — a new line of gorgeous pet products for cats and dogs that homeowners can display with pride. 

IKEA's 'LURVIG' Pet Product Range Boasts Furniture and Accessories

The line ranges from beautifully minimalist cat scratching posts, to relaxing pet abodes that can be hidden in cabinets that come complete with everything a furry friend needs to thrive. The collection demonstrates a thorough understanding of pet ownership, retailing stylish feeding bowls, traveling cases and even wall hooks designed specifically to hold the multiple leashes and accessories one might have laying around. Each product is available in a wide range of colors and patterns, ensuring each item can properly reflect the functional and aesthetic requirements of a homeowner.

Source : trendhunter.com

(Author : Retail in Asia)
Amazon is opening a pop-up bar for only 10 days in Japan on 20 October 2017. Amazon Bar, according to the company’s website, will be located in Tokyo’s upscale Ginza area and serve a variety of drinks, including beer, wine, and whiskey.

In August 2017, the company quietly expanded its one-hour wine delivery service in select U.S. cities.

But it comes with one caveat: there is no menu. The bar will instead deploy a recommendation system with Amazon sommeliers offering suggestions for different types of drinks. It will also serve special drinks that are only available at Amazon Bar, the website says.

Amazon did not say why it is opening the bar and for such a short period. The company has been introducing physical book stores and pop-up stores of late, while also expanding into the grocery space with the Whole Foods acquisition. At the same time, Amazon has been moving into the alcohol business.

In August 2017, the company quietly expanded its one-hour wine delivery service in select U.S. cities. In 2016, Amazon Japan launched a wine recommendation service by phone that featured its own in-house sommeliers.

Source : retailinasia

(Auteur : Josh Kolm)
A new social video brings the importance of the little things into the retailer’s new brand platform.

IKEA explores the possibilities of good deeds

IKEA Canada has embarked on a mission to making the world a better place, and a new social video aims to show that includes little things people can do every day. The video suggests that everyone doing the occasional good deed will motivate more good deeds and lead to a better world. It proves this by asking its own employees to get the ball rolling. At the retailer’s location in Vaughan, employees do things like provide decor for customers’ meals in the cafeteria, pay for an entire family’s lunch and throw an anniversary party to recognize a long-time coworker.

The video is the next installment in IKEA Canada’s recently-launched “Beautiful Possibilities” brand platform. The launch spot for the platform focused on “big picture” issues like diversity, inclusion, sustainable energy and supporting vulnerable populations like refugees and the elderly to reflect the optimistic point of view IKEA wants to have about the world we could live in.

Lauren MacDonald, country marketing manager for IKEA Canada, says the idea behind the broader integrated campaign is that even little things can help people create the world they want.

“Acts both big and small all contribute to creating a better world,” MacDonald says. “Our objective with all of this is to inspire and enable Canadians to see what is possible in their homes and in the world. We truly believe if we all started with small actions to make the world a little better, the world will actually become a better place.”

MacDonald says the idea of “good deeds” fits with IKEA’s focus on creating a better life for the “many,” and anyone can do a good deed. Part of the reason behind launching this video in social channels was to share it in a platform that encouraged sharing and engagement so people might be motivated to join in to the “movement” themselves.

“One Good Deed A Day” has also become an internal initiative within IKEA Canada that began a few weeks ago, and has resulted in things like an employee at the Vaughan location giving out small toys to children in the store that include advice on how they might do a good deed for someone else.

MacDonald couldn’t give specifics about what other world-improving topics IKEA might tackle in the future, but said there would be more work coming ahead of the holiday season.

Source : strategyonline.ca

(Author : Marianne Wilson)
Nordstrom opened the doors on Tuesday to its newest full-line store, one that includes new store design concepts and services.

Nordstrom unveils updated store concept

In addition to its new store, which is located at Westfield Century City in Los Angeles (a relocation from Westside Pavilion), the retailer also opened its newest retail concept, Nordstrom Local, in Los Angeles. The 3,000-sq.-ft. format, which has no inventory, is designed as a neighborhood hub where customers can access the company’s best services,

The three-level, 154,000-sq.ft. Century City Nordstrom boasts the company’s latest store design concept, which includes more windows to incorporate natural light. It houses several different merchandise concepts, including the fifth ‘Nordstrom x Nike’ sneaker boutique in the company a women’s-only lifestyle concept that blurs the lines of fitness and fashion, and two shops curated by Olivia Kim, Nordstrom VP of creative projects.

It also features Nordstrom’s new “extended sizing” initiative, which launched in the denim department. Mannequins in varying sizes – rather than the typical size 2 – are featured, and all denim sizes are displayed side-by-side in one department rather than separating the petite and plus sizes.

The store houses the first West Coast MAC Makeup Studio, a shop concept dedicated to applications and lessons by licensed professionals. Other features include ‘Style Bar,’ a drop-in area where customers can meet with complimentary personal stylists; ‘Nordstrom to You,’ a personal stylist service on wheels; and Bar Verde, a full-service, seasonally-focused restaurant and bar. An expanded range of delivery options are available, including buy online and pick up in-store, curbside pickup and two-hour delivery.

In related news, Nordstrom announced plans to open its tenth Nordstrom Rack location in Los Angeles, at the FIGat7thshopping center downtown on Oct. 26.

Source : chainstoreage.com

 

(Author : Jack Byram)
Casper, the New York City-based mattress company famous for using compression technology to deliver mattresses in boxes, is teaming up with American Airlines to offer new in-flight sleeping products . According to Casper’s website, it’s “reimagining sleep at 30,000 feet.”

Casper Teams Up With American Airlines For In-Flight Slumber Products

In what seems to be a response to airlines like United teaming up with companies such as Saks Fifth Avenue for in-flight bedding, Casper has unveiled a new line of products specifically designed for flight, set to come to select American Airlines flights in December. According to American Airlines, the products offered will include a mattress pad, pajamas, slippers, a lumbar pillow, a standard pillow, a duvet and a day blanket.

Casper’s amenities will be provided for First or Business Class and Premium economy on long-haul international flights, transcontinental flights, certain domestic flights and flights to particular locations in the northern rim of South America.

Source : psfk.com

(Author Paul Sawer)
Walmart has acquired Brooklyn-based delivery startup Parcel, representing the fifth technology startup acquisition by the retail giant in the past 14 months.

Walmart acquires NYC delivery startup Parcel as Amazon battle heats up

Founded in 2013, Parcel is a so-called “last-mile” delivery platform designed to help e-commerce companies get their goods from their premises to customers’ doors. It operates around-the-clock too, delivering packages in scheduled two-hour windows, overnight, or the same day an order is placed.

The offline / online retail war has taken an interesting turn over the past few years. Internet giant Amazon has increasingly edged into groceries and other household goods, and earlier this year Amazon really laid down the gauntlet to brick-and-mortar rivals such as Walmart when it announced it was buying supermarket chain Whole Foods in a $13.7 billion deal.

Walmart, for its part, has been investing heavily in bolstering its e-commerce credentials too, and acquisitions are playing a key part of its strategy — last August, Walmart confirmed it was buying online retailer Jet.com for $3 billion in cash. In the intervening months, Walmart has snapped up online clothing retailer Shoebuy for $70 million; active outdoor retailer Moosejaw for $51 million; and mens clothing brand Bonobos for $310 million.

Parcel launched initially in New York back in 2014, it hasn’t expanded into other markets yet, and it had only raised around $2 million in seed funding — so Walmart is unlikely to have paid crazy money for the startup. Indeed, Walmart did state that the acquisition price was “smaller than previous acquisitions we’ve made this year,” which suggests it was less than $50 million, and in reality it was likely significantly less than that figure.

In terms of what Walmart has in store for Parcel, well, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that it plans to use Parcel’s platform for last-mile deliveries in New York City, covering “general merchandise” as well as “fresh and frozen groceries” from both Walmart and Jet.

However, Walmart is seemingly keen to continue serving Parcel’s existing clients as well. “Parcel has partnerships with several meal kit, grocery and e-commerce companies, and has delivered more than 1 million meals in the past two years,” Walmart said in a blog post. “So our immediate plan is for Parcel to continue serving its existing clients and growing its customer base.”

Source : venturebeat.com

(Author : Retail in Asia)
Contemplating buying a new phone? You have probably already extensively researched your options and watched a few product demo videos before even entering the store.

JD’s “Take” technology empowers offline shopping

But, what if you did not have to? Enter “Take,” JD’s latest advanced technology, which leverages big data to bring the precision of online shopping offline. With “Take,” when a customer enters a store and picks up a product on display, a video on an attached tablet introducing the product, its features and its specifications will automatically start to play. If two products are picked up at once, the screen will prompt the customer to choose which of the two products’ video demos he or she wants. Using sensors attached to the devices on display, the technology can track how many times a product has been picked up.

The unique data obtained will directly help improve the offline shopping experience by providing insight into product selection and ideal product placement within stores. It will also optimize marketing and enable JD to more accurately calculate offline conversion rates. Through its JD Y technology unit, the company is using AI and big data to define the future of retail by providing new smart solutions, both online and offline.

“We are constantly looking for unique ways to use our technology to improve our customers’ experience,” said Cao Xuechao, Director of retail innovation at supply chain R&D for JD.com.

JD is the industry leader in using big data to provide online shoppers with customized search results taking into account their unique situations and preferences. In August, the company rolled out JD Retail Experience Shops across China, giving customers a chance to touch and try a range of products, all sourced from JD.com.

“With ‘Take’ and other advanced technologies, we’ll be able to better understand what our customers want when they shop offline,” said Zhang Bing, Head of Retail Innovation at JD Electronics. “We can then deliver that to them in store with the same precision they’re used to when they shop online.”

Source : retailinasia.com

(Author : Marianne Wilson)
Target Corp. is using technology to make it easier for online shoppers to search for exactly what they are looking for — be it a sweater that was worn by a co-worker or nursey decor as seen in a magazine.

Target in new deal with Pinterest

The discounter announced it will integrate Pinterest’s visual search technology, Lens, into Target’s mobile app and desktop website.

Instead of typing “modern crib” into a text search bar, shoppers can snap a picture of what they are looking for, click on it and, in seconds, a curated set of Target items that resemble or complement the photo will appear on screen. Target is the first — and exclusive — U.S. retailer to bring Pinterest Lens directly into its apps.

Target plans to bring Pinterest Lens — along with insights from its massive catalog — into the chain’s registry experience. From there, it will add the visual search tech into its Target app.

“This Pinterest partnership quite literally helps us shorten the distance from when our guests have an idea to when they’re ready to make a purchase,” says Rick Gomez, chief marketing officer, Target. “It’s another way we’re making it easy and fun for our guests to explore and find new products. Plus, as we start to understand what shoppers are really looking for, it’ll help us better anticipate — and plan for — the latest styles and trends. We look forward to unlocking new potential, together.”

Source : chainstoreage.com

(Author : Inside Retail Hong Kong)
New Sephora concept stores have opened in Spain and France, hinting at the LVMH-owned cosmetics retailer’s future design direction.

Sephora concept stores debut in France and Spain

Unashamedly targeting millennials, the brand is trying to increase dwell time in-store and encourage younger shoppers to buy into perfume. First introduced in France, the hyper-connected stores bring customers what Sephora describes as “a unique beauty experience in an unprecedented service-driven environment, perfectly expressing the beauty retailer’s play, share and shop philosophy”.

Following the tremendous success of two pilot stores opened in March in Nantes and Val d’Europe in France, Sephora has brought its new store concept to Spain. This new concept revolves around a fascinating variety of services, letting Sephora offer a groundbreaking beauty experience, transforming beauty shopping in Spain, where the brand has been present since 1998,” the company said in a statement. The new design engages customers right from the entrance, with a giant slide for shoppers who are happy to eschew escalators or the piano stairway.

“As at the two French pilot stores, these newest concept stores include a trend zone with a selection of hot new products, a beauty hub for personalised advice and beauty classes to learn about specific makeup topics. With four distinct experience spaces – compared with one or two at classic stores – the new concept stores give customers access to an expanded range of brands, from the latest on-trend products from South Korea to para-pharmaceutical products, and engage with a broader audience, especially millennials.”

New services include the Dry Bar by Rizos for a 15-minute hairstyle touch-up and the Drops fragrance experience, designed to introduce younger customers to perfume by letting them personalise the bottle of their chosen fragrance in a fun, interactive way.

“With these two new concept stores Sephora introduces a groundbreaking shopping experience in Spain, as the brand continues to expand the concept throughout Europe, adapting it to each country for an even more exclusive experience,” the company said.

Source : insideretail.hk

(Author : malls.com)
The new format is less cluttered and includes an extensive assortment of high-end goods for adults.

New Disney Stores Bring Theme Parks To Customers

Walt Disney has renovated several of its retail stores to test a new prototype that includes more components of the company’s theme parks, including big screens that show live streams of daily parades at Disney World and Disneyland.

The California-based company has unveiled 4 of 6 planned stores with the new look, which includes a large video screen in the front. Guests can sing with Donald Duck on their a birthday, with their photo on the screen. These are showing up in the afternoon can sit and watch a live feed of Disneyland’s daily parade down Main Street. The stores will wheel up a cart soon, where customers can buy candy and mouse ears, just like those sold at the parks.

“It’s not unusual to have 50 people or so come on a Tuesday or Wednesday,” Paul Gainer, the executive in charge of Disney’s store’s division, told.  “There’s the opportunity to do many other things.”

Disney, the world’s largest entertainment firm, has had its interest in the retailing ebb and flowed over the years. The corporation once sold and then bought back its stores department. Now, the company has about 340 retail locations around the world, about a third of their peak.

The remodeling matches with a remake of Disney’s online shopping site. The company is more than doubling the volume of merchandise it sells online, with a big increase in items for adults like Coach handbags, David Lerner women’s clothing, and Ethan Allen furniture. The new website includes videos of the products and more themed items displayed, such as Halloween costumes. Merchandise that sells well online will be delivered to the stores, Gainer said.

Source : malls.com