(Author : Joey Haar)
Alibaba Buy+ is a new e-commerce concept from the Chinese retail giant that has the potential to completely revolutionize how people shop for products. 

Alibaba Buy+ is a Virtual Mall Showcasing the Company's Products

Due to its ability to create immersive private worlds for each user, VR has an unlimited amount of potential in a variety of fields. Alibaba’s new technology is the natural extension of how VR will come into play in the world of digital retail.

Alibaba Buy+ is a virtual reality shopping mall. By donning just a VR headset (with the option to add two handheld remotes for HTC Vive owners,) consumers can walk through the virtual space of the mall, visit various stores, and make purchases that will then be delivered in the real world. The program is currently available in beta only.

Source : trendhunter.com

(Author : Ben Stevens)
A Tesco store in Scotland has introduced a “relaxed lane” aimed at creating a less stressful checkout line for less able customers.

Tesco figures

In conjuction with Alzheimer Scotland, the initiative sees staff at the Forres site trained to identify special needs customers and operate at a more suitable speed.The pilot scheme currently operates on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.

“We want them to be confident they can shop at their own pace,” Forres Tesco employee Kerry Speed told the BBC.

“It was highlighted to me that people living with dementia can feel under pressure when they reach the checkout, and it struck me that this could be true for others as well.

“Early feedback from customers has been very positive. Although it’s a simple gesture, we hope this will make a difference.”

Source : retailgazette.co.uk

 

(Author : luxurydaily)
British automaker Jaguar Land Rover is making new models available to view in its showrooms in a faster timeframe with the help of virtual reality.

Jaguar Land Rover launches VR experience to accelerate car shopping

After piloting the technology for the launch of its F-Pace in the United Kingdom last year, the brand will be using its virtual reality experience to introduce each of its 2017 models to consumers. Using a digital platform makes it easier for potential buyers to make a decision before a physical model has arrived at a point of sale.

First look
Jaguar Land Rover’s experience will arrive across its network of dealers by the end of the month. While it will be used for all models throughout this year, the VR initiative is launching with the Land Rover Discovery.  While wearing a VR headset, consumers can take a tour of the car and interact with the model. Animations explain key features such as technical specifications, and the wearer can also view the inside of the car from all angles.

Aside from the headset, the experience is also accessible on a tablet, allowing a consumer to revisit key aspects of the car as they are considering a purchase. This acts as a visual aid as a salesperson talks them through options.

“As if our vehicles weren’t exciting enough already, this new way of buying a car will engage customers further with our innovative capabilities,” said Andy Goss, Jaguar Land Rover Group sales operations director. “The VR experience will also help retailers to break the ice with customers and inject even more fun into the process of buying our vehicles.”Digital tactics have enabled automakers to reconfigure the showroom experience.

Audi is one of the brands making moves in digitization. In 2012, the brand opened its first Audi City virtual showroom in London. Within Audi City locations, the automaker’s entire line is displayed on screens that respond based on consumer movement, enabling the brand to bring the dealership experience to the heart of major cities, where retail space is typically compact. This has helped Audi boost its sales volumes and grow its retail footprint, with 16 locations opened in 2014 and upcoming outposts planned for Shanghai, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Moscow and New York.

Jaguar Land Rover recently brought vehicle buying into the digital space through a partnership with Rockar. The brand established an online retail Web site and corresponding showroom in the Westfield Stratford mall last fall, becoming the first premium automaker to allow individuals to purchase a car entirely online. A reflection of changing consumer needs, this move enables potential owners to explore in-person and then complete the purchase transaction at a time and place convenient for them.

Source : luxurydaily.com

(Author : Ben Ice)
Subway has created a Snapchat geofilter to extend on its 2017 sponsorship of junior surfing tour, Subway Surf Series.

Subway launches Snapchat geofilter tied to junior surfing sponsorship

To establish its tie to the junior surf tour, the Subway Surf Series, quick-service restaurant brand Subway has launched a branded Snapchat filter.

The Subway Surf Series is an internationally recognised surfing event, aiming to propel Australia’s leading junior surfers into successful careers. The Snapchat geofilter debuted over the weekend at the first event of the series at Bells Beach. It’s the first time Subway has used a customised Snapchat geofilter.

“We’re always looking for innovative ways to connect with our customers and capitalise on social trends,” says Kate Brody, Subway Australia senior manager marketing.

“Snapchat really resonates with one of our core segments. It’s a really interactive way for both the surfing community and Subway fans to engage with us on a digital level,” she says.

It will appear again in the next instalments of the Surf Series at Cronulla on 23-25 January, Sunshine Coast on 22-23 April and Gold Coast on 6-7 May.

Source : marketingmag.com.au

(Author : retail in asia)
While many brands are scaling back bricks-and-mortar in Hong Kong, Italian fashion house Versace has opened the doors to a new flagship.

Versace opens new flagship store in Hong Kong

Located in the Shanghai Commercial Bank Tower, Versace’s new flagship occupies approximately 8,000 square feet of selling space for men’s and women’s ready-to-wear and accessories. Versace’s Hong Kong Central boutique joins standalone stores Gateway Arcade, Pacific Place, Sogo Causeway Bay and the MixC Mall. The new Versace flagship incorporates traditional Italian architectural values with the modern dynamism and energy the brand is known for. Architectural elements include fior di bosco marble and brass features.

As a “meeting point between the past and future,” the flagship also makes use of fior di bosco flooring to create a unique environment, while the boutique’s facade is designed with backlit onyx.

“For me the boutique suggests an uninterrupted dialogue between our past and our future, between Versace and our clients,” said Donatella Versace in a statement.

To welcome the new flagship, Versace has designed a limited-edition mini Palazzo Empire handbag. The special handbag is embellished with silver Swarovski crystals and includes a detachable leather shoulder strap and a palladium Medusa head, the symbol of Versace.

The Palazzo Empire limited-edition includes a metallic tag inscribed with “The Palazzo Empire celebrating Hong Kong” to commemorate the store’s opening.

Versace’s Hong Kong Central boutique will also stock a limited number of medium and large Palazzo Empire handbags in exotic skins. Available in a wide selection of colors, these handbags will include a removable, interior metallic tag reading, “Versace for Shanghai Commercial Bank Tower, Hong Kong.”

The brand has also voiced its confidence in the Japanese luxury market by securing a retail presence. In December 2015, Versace returned to Japan after departing the market in 2009 and has opened three storefronts since its re-entrance.

Source : retailinasia.com

(Author : Barbara Santamaria)
Fashion East, the non-profit initiative that supports young fashion designers at the beginning of their career, has teamed up with luxury powerhouse Selfridges to open a one-stop pop-up shop at the department store’s Oxford Street flagship.

Selfridges opens Fashion East pop up as platform for key emerging labels

Situated in the Designer Studio, the store features clothes, gifts and quirky collectibles from Fashion East’s current line-up of designers and some of its ground-breaking alumni, including Craig Green, Ashley Williams, Charles Jeffrey, Richard Malone, Caitlin Price, Mimi Wade, Matty Bovan, Rottingdean Bazaar, Per Gotesson, Art School and Christopher Shannon, as well as Fashion East’s first own merch outing.

Since its inception in 2000, the platform has supported some of the UK’s most talented designers through the difficult early stages of their career. The alumni includes fashion designers such as Simone Rocha, Roksanda Ilincic, Marques Almeida, Gareth Pugh, Kim Jones, Jonathan Saunders, Grace Wales Bonner, Craig Green and J.W. Anderson.

“It’s a massive buzz and privilege to be calling Selfridges home for a few months!,” says Fashion East founder and director Luly Kennedy. “You only have to walk around the fashion floors of Selfridges to see the amazing success and influence of Fashion East.”

“Having a Fashion East Store in Selfridges where a real cross-section of the Fashion East family are represented feels like a natural thing to do,” added Selfridges buying director Manes. “And more than that, we loved the idea of giving Lulu a space to make her own – I think the environment and line-up of specially commissioned products will give an insight into her creative process and into a network of brilliant friends who are shaping what British fashion means today,” added Selfridges buying director Manes. The Fashion East pop up store at Selfridges will run until the end of March.

Source : us.fashionnetwork.com

(Author : Cate Trotte)
With an in-store manufacturing lab, Korean eyewear company YUN is changing the way people buy glasses. Cate Trotter, head of trends at Insider Trends, takes us on a tour of the Berlin shop.

YUN - the store with its own manufacturing lab

YUN is an innovative Korean eyewear company, but its first (and flagship) store is in the Mitte borough of Berlin. Launched in October 2015, this young brand is reinventing the way that people buy glasses. At the heart of this is the innovative in-store manufacturing lab, built around a lens finishing system which sits out on the main shop floor in full view of customers. The state-of-the-art high-tech machine means that glasses can be made to fit a customer’s exact prescription in as little as 20 minutes.

The store stocks more than 12,000 individual blank lenses to ensure it can meet the widest possible array of prescriptions. These are then shaped and finished by the automated machine, before final adjustments are made to the fit. By being able to watch their glasses being made in front of them customers feel more connected to and engaged with the YUN brand.

YUN - the store with its own manufacturing lab1

The technology also adds up to a better customer experience by making shopping for glasses something that can be done in a lunch break or while out shopping or on the spur of the moment. It enables YUN to serve as many customers as possible, while retaining control over the process and quality of its products. Being able to have high quality prescription glasses in their hand on the same day may be an important influencing factor on would-be customers.

YUN also operates a simple pricing model with frames and tailored prescription lenses costing either €99 or €149. This includes a free eye test, which is carried out in-store by the qualified opticians in dedicated examination rooms. All of the frames styles are designed in-house in Korea with the aim of being lightweight, allergy-free, comfortable, durable and flexible. To complete the experience customers get four weeks to try their new glasses and if they’re not happy can return them.

Since launching its physical store, YUN has also enabled customers to order glasses directly from its website if they hold a valid prescription. This has widened its potential customer base to anyone around the world, with the multilingual website acting as an important touch point for shoppers.

Customers can also book their free in-store eye test from the website, as well as being able to walk in off the street on a whim. Although it is a relatively simple digital application in integrating with the booking system in-store, it helps reduce friction for customers. It’s also in keeping with the entire identity of the store, which is built around the idea of minimalism, from the packaging to the way the glasses are simply displayed on tables.

Since launching its physical store, YUN has also enabled customers to order glasses directly from its website if they hold a valid prescription. This has widened its potential customer base to anyone around the world, with the multilingual website acting as an important touch point for shoppers.

YUN is a fantastic example of a retailer disrupting the normal way of doing things, much as we’ve seen with companies like Uber. Its innovative use of technology goes beyond the normal digital applications to create something unique – something many retailers can learn from.

Source : essentialretail.com

(Author : Ben Sillitoe)
Carrefour has launched what it is describing as “a new ultra-fast delivery service for Paris and Neuilly-sur-Seine”. The one-hour fulfilment option covers approximately 2,000 products.

Carrefour extends one-hour delivery service in Paris

Carrefour customers in Paris and Neuilly-sur-Seine can now access an “ultra-fast delivery service” offering one-hour fulfilment on around 2,000 items. The service has been trialled since October 2016 in around ten Paris districts, allowing shoppers to select a 30-minute delivery slot.  Delivery costs €4.90 and there is no minimum purchase amount.

The product mix available is similar to what customers will find in a town-centre supermarket, including fresh produce, groceries and a few daily-use non-food goods covering health & beauty and household items.

Consumers using the service will soon have the option of tracking their deliveries in real time via an Express Delivery mobile app. Deliveries can be scheduled for between 9am and 10pm Monday to Saturday, and they are fulfilled by French start-up, Stuart.

Stuart is a delivery service specialising in deliveries by bike and cargo bike, and it recently launched in the UK working alongside fast food chain, Burger King.

Source : essentialretail.com

(Author : Kristen Hall-Geisler)
Volvo announced that it’s joining other automakers in creating a business unit devoted to car sharing. The new shared mobility unit will be based on Sunfleet, a car sharing service that Volvo has run since 1998. So after nearly two decades, Volvo should be pretty comfortable with the service.

Volvo Cars digital key

The new unit will expand Sunfleet globally. Right now, it only operates in 50 cities in Sweden, but those cities have 50,000 subscribers using a fleet of about 1,200 Volvos “rarely more than a year and a half old,” if Google’s translation of the Swedish Sunfleet site is correct.

Sunfleet is a station-based car sharing system akin to ZipCar rather than a free-floating service like car2go. Users register on the website, book a car, unlock it with an app, and find a key in the glove box to start the car. Since the fleet is swapped out pretty frequently, it probably won’t be long before users will be able to unlock the car with the app too.

As it stands now, users can rent a car once, sign up for a monthly subscription, or take a car for the weekend, from Friday at 5 p.m. to Monday at 8 a.m. Because Sunfleet is station-based, you pick up the car where it’s parked and return it there when you’ve finished your short-term rental.

Volvo promises to announce more details of its car sharing and mobility unit’s expansion in the coming months, but if it’s stuck with Sunfleet this long, expect to see a similar (though maybe autonomous?) system as part of the global expansion.

Source : techcrunch.com

(Auteur : Katherine Pendrill)
Popular beauty brand Madison Reed recently made the leap from ecommerce to physical retail with the opening of its first brick-and-mortar shop. Located in Manhattan’s hip Flatiron District, the hybrid beauty boutique gives customers a new destination to shop for the brand’s expertly crafted haircare products.

The Online Retailer Madison Reed Opened Its First Physical Store in NYC

 

Madison Reed’s first retail outlet consists of a 1,500-square-foot space dubbed the Color Bar. The shop itself is part retail shop and part salon, meaning customers can not only browse the brand’s full hair care line, but they can also test out different product with the assistance of an expert colorist. Customers can also stop by for a personalized hair color tutorial or to ask questions about specific products. As co-founder Sabrina Riddle explains, “We wanted people to have a physical experience with our products and with our brand.”

While the Color Bar will only operate for a six-month test run, the venture demonstrates that the beauty brand is eager to blur the boundaries between ecommerce and physical retail.

Source : trendhunter.com