(Author : Sarah Ahssen)
Asos has seriously disrupted UK fashion retail in recent years and now it’s hoping to do the same with beauty. The British fashion e-tailer is set to launch its very first own-brand beauty collection, called Asos Make-Up.

Asos launches own-brand beauty label

Available from the middle of this month, the fairly extensive collection will include 46 products, including liquid lipsticks, contouring palettes, shimmering eyeshadows and bronzers. Pricing is set at a budget level and will match Asos’s overall price positioning: from £5/€6.99 for a lip pencil to £12/€16.99 for an eyeshadow palette.

The company’s publicity material for the line said the launch is “about embracing and expressing the full range of who you are,” and helping “20-somethings to confidently be themselves, however they choose to do so.” “We believe your face and body are a canvas, an adventure in individual self-expression, an opportunity to experiment and play,” it said.

It’s not the company’s first foray into beauty, of course. Asos currently stocks labels including Cowshed, Baxter of California, Korres and L’Oréal Men Expert. But the new move comes after the company amalgamated its women’s beauty team and men’s grooming buying teams and decided to get really serious about beauty. The category had always been a strong performer but had also taken a black seat to the firm’s core fashion offer.

The gender-blending approach taken at buying team level will also be reflected on the site as the Asos Beauty section is renamed Asos Face + Body to coincide with the launch.

Asos, with its giant customer base, has a ready-made audience for its new offer, which comes packaged with its target Millennial customer in mind. Outer packaging is in popular pale pink decorated with an eye graphic for a whimsical touch.

Source : us.fashionnetwork.com

(Author : Nick  Smatt)
The mobile payments company has opened a storefront in New York City.

Square Opened Its First Brick-And-Mortar Store To Reach More Vendors

Square, founded by influential Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, initially gained traction by selling a card reading device that plugs into a smartphone, allowing businesses around the world to accept credit cards. It helped eliminate the age-old problem of vendors not being able to do business because they didn’t have easy access to a credit card machine.

Now, Square is taking its technology to a brick-and-mortar location with a recently opened physical storefront in the Nolita neighborhood of Manhattan. The intent of the store is to improve and broaden the customer experience and attract new merchants who may be interested in learning about the brand. The move to a physical retail location is unique for a technology giant, but it feels appropriate given the recent expansion of the products and services Square now offers. From loans to food delivery and inventory management software, the company is reaching further than ever before.

Source : psfk.com

(Author :  Marianne Wilson)
Walmart is determined not to cede any ground to Amazon.

Walmart in deal with Google to offer voice-activated shopping

In a partnership that takes direct aim at the online giant and its Alexa voice-controlled device, Walmart is teaming up with Google to offer hundreds of thousands of items available for voice shopping via Google Assistant, the search giant’s online shopping platform that lives on its smart speaker Google Home and other smart devices. It will be the largest number of items currently offered by a retailer through the platform, according to Walmart. The service is another bulwark in the defenses Walmart is building up against its biggest rival. It will be available in late September.

The deal with Walmart is Google’s largest retail partnership to date. While other retailers, including Target, Kohl’s and Ulta, sell on Google Express, no other company currently offers the depth of products Walmart will be offering. In related news, Google Express said it will now offer free delivery across its retailers as long as the order is above each store’s minimum threshold.

“When it comes to voice shopping, we want to make it as easy as possible for our customers,” said Marc Lore, president and CEO, Walmart U.S. eCommerce. “That’s why it makes sense for us to team up with Google. They’ve made significant investments in natural language processing and artificial intelligence to deliver a powerful voice shopping experience. We know this means being compared side-by-side with other retailers, and we think that’s the way it should be. An open and transparent shopping universe is good for customers.”

In another key distinction from the other retailers that sell via Google Express, Walmart will allow shoppers to link up a pre-existing user account with Google Express on the back-end. The discounter will integrating its Easy Reorder feature, which has data on customers’ store and online purchases, into Google Express. Shoppers who want to reorder their favorites can link their Walmart account to Google Express.

“This will enable us to deliver highly personalized shopping recommendations based on customers’ previous purchases, including those made in Walmart stores and on Walmart.com,” Lore said. Lore said that Walmart will roll out increased voice shopping capabilities in 2018.

“Next year, we will also leverage our 4,700 U.S. stores and our fulfillment network to create customer experiences that don’t currently exist within voice shopping anywhere else, including choosing to pick up an order in store (often for a discount) or using voice shopping to purchase fresh groceries across the country,” he said.

Source : chainstoreage.com

(Author : Cassidy Mantor)
Stadium Goods is bringing its streetwear and footwear collection to European sneakerheads through an exclusive partnership with Zalando.

Stadium Goods expands to Europe in exclusive Zalando deal

The partnership will utilize the Zalando Partner Program which allows brands and retailers to link their own e-commerce inventory to Zalando’s site. This increases available assortment and expands distribution options. Additionally, the Zalando Partner Program only sells fully authenticated shoes so buyers can be assured they are not purchasing fakes.

Joining with Zalando will open up a new marketplace for sneakerheads in Europe who are spending more money on unique sneaker launches. John McPheters, Stadium Goods Co-Founder and CEO said the new partnership will “offer sneaker enthusiasts the authenticity and selection European consumers have long been asking for.”

Zalando is Europe’s largest online platform for fashion. It has over 21 million active users and sells over 2,000 brands ranging from streetwear to high fashion for men, women and children.

Carsten Keller, VP Direct-to-Consumer at Zalando said: “This exclusive partnership with Zalando’s Partner Program positions us as a key destination for Europe’s community of discerning sneakerheads.”

Stadium Goods is currently sold on the brand’s e-commerce site as well as in a flagship Soho, NY retail store. It will first become available on Zalando through a test launch in Germany with plans to roll out to additional countries.

Source : us.fashionnetwork.com

(Author : Retail Design Blog)
Topshop recently launched their Flagship Oxford Street ‘Neon Summer’ Window. The installation is themed around a series of festival inspired mannequins poised on a collection of colourful neon lit plinths has been designed and produced by Blacks Visual in collaboration with the Topshop Creative Team.

Topshop Oxford Street

The window concept reveals a lighting installation featuring a series of summer style oversize neon phrases hung with visible yellow cables that create an illuminated multi-coloured, playful backdrop.

Topshop Oxford Street1

Source : retaildesignblog.net

(Author : Malls.cpm)
The new concept aims to improve customer engagement and productivity on a smaller footprint.

Abercrombie & Fitch Opens New Store Concept

As the retail landscape continues to evolve, those that remain in the game must be willing to try new things to stay relevant. Abercrombie & Fitch has demonstrated that it’s willing to do just that, as the company debuted a new A&F prototype store in Columbus, Ohio earlier this year. The new concept aims to improve customer engagement and productivity on a smaller footprint. We can safely assume it’s hitting the mark, as the company has announced that it’s going back to the well and opening up another one.

As Retail Dive shares, this one is located at Tysons Corner Center, a sprawling development outside of the nation’s capital that features more than 300 specialty stores and restaurants spread out over more than two million square feet, and attracts more than 25 million visitors annually.

“The A&F brand experience has been updated to provide the customer with a new vision of the retailer and is one of seven new concept stores that will be opening by the end of 2017.  The evolved experience is designed to be an inviting space that facilitates brand engagement and encourages product trial,” A&F announced in a release. “The Abercrombie & Fitch store in Tysons Corner will be in a new location at the mall, and with a significantly smaller store footprint.” This isn’t just a familiar Abercrombie & Fitch location on a smaller scale, but rather a concept that shows that the team behind the scenes spent a lot of time focusing on the store of the future.

“The modernized space was imagined with the best customer experience in mind, encouraging the discovery of A&F’s new collections and brand positioning. Looking to provide a unique and personal shopping experience, the layout includes accommodating features such as innovative fitting rooms, and omni-channel capabilities,” the release adds. “Each fitting room has thoughtful amenities designed to enhance the customer’s mood, including separate controls for light and music, as well as a phone charging dock.  Select fitting rooms comprise of two individual capsules within a larger, private suite, allowing for sharing new looks with a friend or family member, while also enjoying privacy.” Beyond the fitting rooms, making things more convenient for consumers is clearly a huge priority for A&F. 

“With a focus on customer engagement and service, associates will be on hand to help customers place and pick up online orders in store,” the release continues. “Furthermore, cash wraps will be placed throughout the space, enabling a quicker and more accessible checkout experience.”

Abercrombie & Fitch Opens New Store Concept1

In addition to the new store concept, the company has announced it will be updating select existing stores with a new, refreshed in-store design. Sounds like there’s a lot to get excited about at A&F, and other retailers should perk up and take notice.

Source : malls.com

(Author : Retail Design World)
US vegan restaurant chain By CHLOE is to open its first international branch later this year, in London. Launched two years ago in Manhattan, the brand now has seven US branches.

US vegan restaurant chain By Chloe to open first UK branch

The fast casual restaurant will be in Covent Garden, just off the Piazza. The brand has worked with restaurant design and development specialist TGP International to tailor its offer to the UK, with further sites planned in Europe and the Middle East.

By Chloe co-founder and president Samantha Wasser says London is an ideal first step for international expansion. “Covent Garden’s restaurants and bustling fashion and art districts make it the perfect destination for our London flagship. London is such a diverse city with an incredibly vibrant food scene and we can’t wait to welcome a whole new collection of customers,” she says.

“Plant-based and healthy eating are the buzzwords in the food world at the moment and By CHLOE encompasses this ethos so well,” says TGP International managing director Simon Wright. “With the brand being so established in New York, we saw London as the perfect market for their expansion and what better place than Covent Garden to launch – we’re looking forward to introducing this innovative brand to the London audience.”

Source : retaildesignworld.com

(Author : Deena M. Amato-McCoy)
A discount giant is helping more shoppers skip the checkout line. Walmart is expanding the deployment of its Scan & Go mobile app, which is being tested in approximately 12 stores across Northwest Arkansas, Florida, Texas and Georgia. 

Walmart deploying tech that lets in-store shoppers check out — on their own

The chain is now rolling out the app for use in at least 10 additional locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Nashville markets. The stores will offer the solution by the end of the month, said Walmart spokesman Justin Rushing in an interview with Chain Store Age.

“A lot goes into the market selection, including both the commerce and customer density that make up each area,” he told Chain Store Age. “These are diverse markets to test new ideas. Our initial findings will determine how we will expand the program further.”

The free app allows members to scan merchandise bar codes as they move throughout store aisles and add merchandise to their shopping carts. The app also keeps a running total and itemized list of merchandise and prices, and lets shoppers checkout directly through their smartphone. In addition to internal metrics, Walmart will also rely on customer feedback to learn from the test.

“This is not the complete solution, it is only a part of multichannel process in the front end that will ultimately help customers shop the way they want to,” Rushing said.

“By listening to customers, we will be able to find what they want in terms of speed and convenience, and in the end provide a faster shopping experience,” he added. “By testing different things, we can determine the future of Scan & Go. Knowing this is our entry into Scan & Go, we want to make sure we get it just right before moving on across the chain.”

Walmart has also redesigned the participating stores’ front ends to be an “express bullpen area” where shoppers can show their order barcode to an associate before leaving. Once scanned, they are approved to pay for goods through the app.

“They also use this area to bag groceries, and complete confirmations of fresh groceries,” Rushing said.

For example, throughout their shopping trip, customers can weigh their fresh merchandise on scales located across the store. They type in the variety of produce into the app, along with its weight. The app serves up a price that is confirmed at the checkout bullpen.

While Rushing didn’t share further expansion plans, he did say the company is committed to the technology. “We do not yet have any plans to expand beyond where we are going this month,” he said. “For now, we are focused on getting the new technology more saturated in these two markets, and then will drive the experience so our customers can tell us what working best.”

Scan & Go is an example of how Walmart is testing new solutions to streamline its customer experiences. The program comes on the heels of Sam’s Club’s chainwide rollout of the technology last fall. Upon launch-ing the technology, 10% of total sales were filtering through the Scan & Go program, and there was a 10% spending increase among app shoppers compared to those who don’t use it.

Source : chainstoreage.com

(Author : Retail in Asia)
The Lime Truck, a popular fusion food truck chain from California, has parked one of its kitchen-on- wheels in Singapore in its first foray out of the United States. On Aug 16, a permanent stationary truck will begin business at food hall Pasar Bella Suntec City.

US taco specialists The Lime Truck rolls into Singapore

The Lime Truck won Season 2 of Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race in 2011 and was placed on Yahoo’s Top 10 Trucks In America list for three years running from 2012. On the Singapore menu are signature tacos such as sweet and spicy steak taco and grilled ahi taco, costing an average of $4, as well as Singapore exclusives such as fried chicken skin with chipotle honey drizzle and cheese. The prices have not been confirmed for the new dishes. As bright and spunky as his lime-green food truck is 28-year- old chef Daniel Shemtob, who founded the thriving Californian food truck business in 2010.

Since then, his venture has expanded from a single truck in his hometown of Orange County, California, to five trucks in other cities in California. He also has three restaurants in California – TLT Food in Westwood Village, Irvine Spectrum and Newport Beach.

This is not his first time in Singapore. In 2014, The Lime Truck had a pop-up event in Orchard Road as part of a charity initiative with Fiji Water, where more than 1,000 tacos were sold out in two hours. The food truck in Singapore will not be roving the streets like in California due to regulations here, but he hopes that it can make appearances in future at events such as the Formula One races.

Source : retailinasia.com

(Author : Retail in Asia)
Korea’s first shopping robot that can understand questions and give advice in four languages will start operating on Aug 7 at the Hyundai City Outlet in Dongdaemun, central Seoul.

Hyundai City Outlet’s robot speaks 4 tongues

The robot is equipped with an artificial intelligence system that is able to translate foreign languages. Other stores have information-providing robots, but this is the first robot with translation software. Once a customer selects a language, the robot will understand questions in the language and answer them. The service will be available in Korean, English, Japanese and Chinese at the start and will expand the range to French, German, Russian and Arabic in the future. The robot uses GenieTalk software, which is capable of recognizing voices and translating sentences. Based on neural machine translation, GenieTalk produces accurate translations by considering the sentence’s context and word order. Its machine learning ability increases the service’s quality over time. “Combined with artificial intelligence technology, the usage of robots is evolving from automated and repetitive tasks to being applied to commercial spaces and homes,” said Hancom, the developer of GenieTalk.

The company was originally famous for Hangul, a widely used word processing program for the Korean language. Hyundai City Outlet was selected as the testing ground for the robot due to its high proportion of foreign shoppers, who account for 15 percent of the store’s sales, according to Hyundai.

“We’re hoping the robot will enhance the experience for foreign customers,” said a spokesman for Hyundai Department Store. “After Dongdaemun, the robot will be placed in other stores frequented by tourists such as Hyundai Department Store’s branches in Apgujeong and the Trade Center, southern Seoul.”

The company added that the robot will be assisting human guides to help foreigners at the duty free store Hyundai is preparing to open by the Trade Center. Hyundai’s shopping robot can also play music and take pictures.

“We’re looking for new ways to employ information technology in enhancing the experience for shoppers that visit our branches,” said the company.

Source : retailinasia.com