(Author : Laura McQuarrie)
For a limited time this December, those who are in Japan will be invited to interact with a unique mechanical instrument when they visit the Nescafe Harajuku cafe.

this-nescafe-cafe-features-an-interactive-mechanical-instrument

Inside the cafe, there is a large-scale wooden installation by Shuta Hasunuma called the ‘Coffee Moment Ensemble’ that is made up of xylophone pieces, wooden blocks and keys. When one takes a step back from the musical art piece, it’s revealed that the entire structure is shaped to resemble an oversized mug of coffee.

The playful installation challenges consumers to make use of the Nescafe Barista i app to place an order, or choose from six moods to receive a corresponding drink. When activated, the unique mechanical instrument begins making festive music while a patron’s coffee drink is prepared by an automated Nescafe barista.

Source : trendhunter.com

(Author : Sandra Halliday)
The brands will open five physical stores in a partnership deal with local e-tailer Shangpin.com but could open as many as 75 more if the handful of launch stores prove to be popular.

topshop-and-topman-in-landmark-deal-for-mainland-china-stores

Shangpin already sells the Topshop and Miss Selfridge brands in China and Topshop currently has three Hong Kong stores.  Sir Philip Green, majority owner of Arcadia, said the move is “the start of a unique, exciting and exclusive partnership that will cement Topshop and Topman’s mission of becoming truly global businesses”. Shangpin CEO David Zhao said it was “gratifying to be trusted by such world-renowned fashion brands to take them further in China”.

Topshop is Arcadia’s star brand, having a similar status to that of Zara in rival Inditex’s broad portfolio. However, unlike Zara, Topshop, and its Topman offshoot, is still relatively small scale when it comes to international expansion. It has only 620 directly-managed and franchised stores spread across 40 countries, but the UK remains its largest market. There are currently over 2,000 Zara stores worldwide.

Yet as a key tourist destination for visitors to London, Topshop clearly has a high international profile and analysts see huge potential in a faster global rollout. In announcing the new Chinese partnership, Arcadia did not say who would own the new stores, although it did say they will be jointly managed by the two firms. It will be a welcome distraction for Sir Philip who has been in the news this year more for his actions over failed retailer BHS than for Topshop and has seen widespread criticism and personal attacks both in the British parliament and the press.

The criticism came after the consortium to which he sold BHS for £1 proved unequal to the task of running the chain. It collapsed in the summer and Sir Philip has been under pressure to pump cash into the pension scheme to fill its current black hole.

 

Source : us.fashionnetwork.com

 

(Author : Caroline Baldwin)
Superdry reveals an interactive smart mirror at its Berlin flagship store, which encourages shoppers to digitally try on products.

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Superdry has installed an interactive smart mirror at its flagship store in Berlin. The 82-inch mirror allows customers to digitally try out clothing from Superdry’s new winter collection. Seymourpowell designed the mirror after collaborating with Superdry’s global merchandising and store design teams.

Customers use hand gestures to browse through the collection on the mirror, and they can select their favourite pieces with an “air punch”. “Integrated body tracking technology allows them to try on the garments digitally as they browse. Any movement the customer makes is mirrored by the garment shown on screen, giving people a now, instant feel for how the product fits and moves,” said Pat Fahy, creative director, customer experience at Seymourpowell. “We’ve designed the smart mirror to stop shoppers in their tracks with an engaging, fun and highly interactive experience that brings them closer to the Superdry brand and products.”

The mirror also provides information such as colour options and design details for collection, while messaging encourages customers to share their smart mirror experience and favourite products on social media platforms. The data of those favourite products is then collected by Superdry to help develop future collections.

Craig Bunyan, senior designer at Seymourpowell, added: “Using a combination of Photogrammetry and 3D-scanning techniques, we were able to generate high quality digital models, complete with photorealistic textures. These models were then bound to digital ‘skeletons’ which allow them to be driven by depth sensors embedded in mirror installation. The workflow is very similar to modern Hollywood CGI character animation techniques.”

Source : essentialretail.com

(Author : Jennifer Braun)
Lululemon Athletica officially opened its first Canadian men’s only store on Friday. Baptized The Local, the new men’s concept store located at 96 Ossington in Toronto Ontario, is focused on ‘sweat’ and community. 

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For its inaugural weekend, Lululemon teamed up with local companies to celebrate its opening such as with Toronto based, essential oils company Way of Will who will host a pop up at the new location until January 18, 2017, as well as with retail neighbour, Town Barber, who offered shoppers complimentary shaves and clean-ups over the weekend.

Designing men’s products has become a much larger focus for the Vancouver-based athleisure company over the past two years. They opened their first men’s store in New York back in 2014, The Joinery, which is conceptually rooted in a function-first approach and allows for a personalized experience where guys can customize their workout gear.

Earlier this year, Lululemon announced plans to open more ‘hyper-local’ stores in order to elevate its neighbourhood strengths. In addition to standalone men’s stores, they have also experimented with its Lululemon lab store concept, which is also focused on designing for the needs of their location.

Lululemon concept stores are already open in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Fort Collins, Colorado; Bend, Oregon and more. For fiscal 2016, the company expects net revenue to be in the range of $2.320 billion to $2.340 billion.

Source : us.fashionnetwork.com

(Author : Danny Parisi)
Storied fast food brand McDonald’s is testing home delivery in a few cities around the country thanks to a partnership with UberEATS, following McDonald’s continued mobile efforts.

mcdonalds-tests-home-delivery-in-ubereats-partnership

The move comes after McDonald’s has finally begun to thaw the ice around its mobile commerce offerings. The brand is seeking to move further into the world of mobile convenience to stay competitive with other fast food chains. “Mobile ordering is certainly not a recent phenomenon,” said Chester Ritchie, senior vice president at Worldpay, Orange Country, CA. “Industry insights suggest now is the time to get in the game.

Golden arches
McDonald’s is one of the world’s leading fast food brands with thousands of locations around the world. While the brand has a safe position in the fast food world, there is always room for improvement and in a changing mobile world, positions can change in an instant. For many fast food chains, mobile has been a key battleground in terms of capturing sales and customer attention. Many brands have begun investing heavily in mobile and offering mobile ordering options as a way of increasing their standing in this competitive industry. Mobile has been increasingly prominent in consumers’ lives and for many has taken over completely in terms of being the preferred channel for digital interaction.

In response to that, mobile ordering and mobile rewards programs have become the norm for brands such as Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks. But while other brands were pushing forward with new mobile initiatives, McDonald’s remained notably silent on that front. That was until recently, when the brand finally introduced mobile ordering through its smartphone application.

Since then, the brand has begun investing more heavily into mobile and is now taking another step forward with a partnership with Uber’s UberEATS program to bring McDonald’s straight to customers’ doors with the help of mobile. The partnership is only in the testing rounds for now, as the brand goes through a few trial runs in Florida. If all goes well, customers all around the globe could have a powerful new way to purchase McDonald’s food.

Mobile test
McDonald’s has long been a pioneering force in the world of fast food, but its hesitance to dive in fully to the mobile world could be seen as the brand resting on its laurels. But mobile is revolutionizing so many industries so quickly that McDonald’s could hardly wait much longer to begin integrating new mobile strategies. The brand has already begun mobile ordering through its mobile app, and is looking to continue that strategy in the future. While the new feature is only a test right now, a successful run could see it expanded beyond the initial trial.

“Often times large restaurant chains will test payment initiatives in key markets and gauge their success and ROI,” said Jordan McKee, an analyst at Yankee Group, Boston.

Source : mobilecommercedaily.com

(Author : Darrell Etherington)
It’s become a well-trod refrain, but carmakers are looking at what comes after ownership, and car-sharing between individual owners and renters is one of those models.

mercedes-benz-debuts-croove-its-own-car-sharing-network

Mercedes-Benz has begun its own car-share service that adopts that approach – Croove, a platform that has now launched as a pilot in Munich, Germany. Croove is pure peer-to-peer car rental model, where renters use an app to make choices about what model, trim level and other options they’re looking for in a car. The app will poll its database of registered vehicle owners in the area and find out what’s available for the time and duration need by the renter, and connect the dots. Mercedes isn’t limiting what kind of cars can be on the platform – it’s available to all makes of cars, with the limitation being that the car is in good condition, and isn’t older than 15 years.

Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler is no stranger to car sharing; the company owns and operates Car2Go, a shared vehicle platform where it offers a fleet of Smart and Mercedes vehicles to members who use them on an as-needed basis and pay only for the time they drive. This is a very different approach, however, and notable for being automaker agnostic.

Typically you’d expect carmakers to want to use a service like this to promote its own vehicles, and indeed that’s how they’ve approach services like Zipcar in the past – as a showroom or test ride opportunity for casual drivers who might consider a purchase later on. GM’s Maven has that as one of its explicit service goals, in fact.

Croove is much more like its independent competitors, however; Turo, which just launched in the UK, does the same thing, connecting car owners with renters regardless of vehicle type, and others like easyCar Club in Europe are doing the same.

The decision to open up the platform might just be about making sure Mercedes-Benz can accrue enough data about the pilot to judge whether this is a worthwhile effort for expansion using its own cars, but it’s more likely that the carmaker is not treating this primarily as lead-generation for vehicle sales. Instead, like other automakers making more serious investments in alternative transportation models, Mercedes seems to be focused more on what comes next for automakers when selling cars to people might not be their primary business.

Car sharing also becomes something that Mercedes-Benz and other carmakers can use as a purchase incentive, however – almost like an alternative form of financing, which can be used to help defray the cost of ownership. Even if Croove is open to all vehicles, it’d be relatively easy for Mercedes to use it as a sales push by showing how much a potential vehicle buyer could potentially earn back towards their lease or finance payments by also renting their car out occasionally on the platform.

Source : techcrunch.com

(Author : retaildesignworld)
Online fashion brand Missguided has opened its debut physical store, a 20,000 sq ft ‘instagrammable’ flagship at Westfield Stratford City.

instagrammable-flagship-launched-by-missguided

Designed by Dalziel & Pow, the store has been created to provide a playful and unexpected experience that shoppers will want to share. The agency describes the store as “The first bold step in an ambitious strategy to rise from hugely successful online retailer to global leader in rapid fashion.”

An ‘On Air’ store concept encourages shoppers, described as “retail-addicted girls,” to be in constant conversation with each other, combining shopping and social media to form a live community experience. The space is inspired by TV studios, with a stream of content showing co-created brand content.

A double height ‘living’ storefront creates a deconstructed version of the Missguided website, with a multi-layered display of suspended lightboxes used to convey the brand’s tone of voice. A supersized Missguided sign makes sure shoppers know where they are. Inside, a pink monster truck is adorned with mannequins shooting dollar bills around the store, creating an installation that encourages shoppers to photograph and share images of the store.

Signage features ‘babe commandments’ such as “Thou shalt not be too glam to give a damn,” instead of conventional navigational prompts. Shoppers are encouraged to explore and immerse themselves in individual lifestyle sets, which each feature a distinctive aesthetic and materials.

The denim area, inspired by the seven deadly sins, features a black mirrored ceiling and black marble flooring, while the ‘Shoeniverse’ is defined by an installation of mirrored discs and lights with chain curtains.

instagrammable-flagship-launched-by-missguided1

Fitting rooms have been brought to the front of the store, with the area positioned as an interactive lounge space, with emojis and tounge in cheek signage. The area has been inspired by a Miami Beack pool party, with a concierge provided to create a VIP feel. In-store services will add to the personalised experience, with WAH Nails in place for the first six months.

Source : retaildesignworld.com

(Auteur : Barbara Santamaria)
Louis Vuitton has opened what is believed to be the world’s first 3D printed pop-up store in Westfield shopping centre in Sydney.

louis-vuitton-opens-worlds-first-3d-printed-pop-up-store

Working together with specialist 3D print provider Omus, the luxury brand has mounted a 968 sq ft structure that was created with a 3D printer in just 18 days. Finished with a chrome mirror self-adhesive vinyl and adorned with distinctive Louis Vuitton-designed animal prints, the statement structure showcases a selection of the brand’s spring/summer 2017 collection, which pays homage to African inspirations and The Chapman Brothers.

This is the first time the luxury fashion brand has opened a men’s pop-up in the city. The store, located on Level 3 of Westfield Sydney, will be open until 18 December.

Louis Vuitton has several standalone boutiques in Australia in cities including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

Source : us.fashionnetwork.com

(Author : Jennifer Braun)
Beauty company L’Occitane has opened a new flagship store in the Flatiron District of Manhattan, introducing a new store design for the company.

loccitane-introduces-new-store-design-unveils-smart-beauty-fitting-room

L’Occitane partnered with creative agency, School House, for the new store concept, which was designed to address todays consumer need for information and immediacy. “We are thrilled to open the first store of the future at L’Occitane Flatiron, one of our flagship stores worldwide and a premier shopping destination in Manhattan,” said Paul Blackburn Associate Vice President Design & Construction, North America, in a news statement.

“From entry to exit, the multisensory boutique works collectively to create both an immersive and individualized shopping experience, offering clients an unparalleled assortment of product and service.”

Upon entering the flagship, shoppers will find a modern day Provençal open air market where a community board details the boutique’s in-store services, and a selection of the brand’s bestselling and top trending products. Further in the store, customers can discover brand products and fragrances under a 400 square-foot trellis, an architectural framework that expanses the boutique, running down the middle of the ceiling, which will change seasonally to feature new ingredient stories.

The store also features the first L’Occitane “Smart Beauty Fitting Room” where clients can use a digital platform to browse products in private. The experience is complimented with a physical, and sensorial product sampling experience.

What’s more, the new location features person-to-person concierge offering amenities and services ranging from sparkling water to fragrance engraving and custom gift creation. L’Occitane specializes in high-quality skin care, body care, and fragrance.

Source : us.fashionnetwork.com

(Author : Sandra Halliday)
Ebay has opened the world’s first store powered by emotion just in time for Giving Tuesday and also revealed just how stressful Christmas shopping can be.

high-intensity-interval-shopping-ebays-emotional-tech-pop-up-says-yes

OK, it’s only a pop-up and only open for two days (it closes later today), but the store (at 93 Mortimer Street, London) is an interesting concept.  It’s a “do good, feel good” experience that encourages visitors to “unwrap” what it means to give thoughtfully this Christmas.

How does it do this? Well, in biometric booths it uses intelligent bio-analytic technology and facial coding to (hopefully) remove outside stresses as people browse a selection of items from the retailer’s Giving page. The idea is that the tech identifies which items create the biggest emotional connection. The ‘shoppers’ then get a report on the three items that they connected to the most.

There’s also an ”emotional tapestry” centrepiece covering 20 sq m that translates shopper emotions in real time. Not sure about that one. Stressed shoppers can be pretty scary – I have a vision of the centrepiece evolving and going into meltdown as it destroys vast swathes of central London.

Anyway, back to reality (or is that virtual reality?), US firm Lightwave provided the facial coding tech and ambient biometric sensors and also worked with eBay on a study giving the whole thing a bit of context.

The two conducted a biometric study that suggested Christmas gift shopping can increase heart rate by 32%, which is similar to taking part in a long race. 100 people were fitted with biometric wearables that measured their emotional responses as they shopped. A massive 88% of them experienced tachycardia.

Equally bad (for their wallets if not their health), most lost interest after 32 minutes and hit what eBay called the “wall of disenchantment.” That’s when shoppers settle for anything just to avoid having to shop for any longer, so cue large amounts of money wasted on unwanted gifts.

The company is suggesting we should treat Christmas shopping like we do exercise, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) it would be HIIS. So we shop for a bit then rest. Hmmmm. Not sure how practical that is, unless you’re web-browsing at home. But maybe if you choose stores that have plenty of cafés nearby, it might just work.

Source : trendwalk.net