Sales Activation

(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

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(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.

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(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.”

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(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.

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(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.

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(Author : Elias Jahshan)
Sportswear giant ASICS has opened the doors to its largest retail store in the world on London’s world-famous Regent Street.

Biggest ASICS store opens on Regent Street

The new store, which is located almost diagonally across from rival Nike, covers 9041sq ft spread over three levels and aims to be environmentally-friendly with LED lighting, living plant installations and sustainable products. It also features interactive touch screens, a “robotic shoe delivery system”, motion ID areas to capture posture and running styles so as to advice customers on the best shoes to buy, and even a complimentary juice bar and in-house DJ booth. The shop also sells all four of the Japanese company’s brands — Onitsuka Tiger and Haglöfs, ASICS Tiger and ASICS — in one retail space for the first time. The Regent Street shop opened on the back of ASICS brand stores recording an 18% per cent increase of sales.

It is one of many new openings as part of ASICS’s push to have more branded bricks-and-mortar stores in major city centres, including Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Tokyo, New York. In the EMEA alone, ASICS aims to grow from 26 stores to over 140 brand stores in the next three years.

“This store represents a statement that we are one brand that can deliver products for an active lifestyle and through our digital communities, apps and consumer interaction we will also inspire people to move, and enjoy the physical and mental benefits of exercise,” ASICS EMEA chief executive Alistair Cameron said.

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(Author : Azalea Pena)
The retail location offers a small but high-quality variety of fruits and vegetables directly sourced from local producers.

MUJI’s New Tokyo Flagship Features A Market With Fresh Fruit And Vegetables

MUJI YURAKUCHO, MUJI’s global flagship store, was reopened a few days ago. talomg . Now, buyers can shop for fresh produce in the 1st floor of the store and enjoy fruits and vegetables with significantly less chemical pesticides as well.

MUJI is slowly becoming one of the most helpful stores in the world through offering apparel, accessories, a home in the MUJI Hut, and now, food. The brand gets the fresh produce directly from sellers and they also want consumers to learn about the suppliers as well as where the produce came from. It’s about man’s relationship with food MUJI said.

MUJI’s New Tokyo Flagship Features A Market With Fresh Fruit And Vegetables1

Furthermore, MUJI made it clear that they will not offer a large array of fruits and vegetables, but they will offer seasonal items, rare, and traditional produce. All fruits and vegetables are grown with less than 50 percent chemical pesticides.

If you feel the need to shop more, the 2nd floor offers freshly baked pastries and soup in the Café&Meal MUJI. There’s also a life-size model of the MUJI Hut for everyone’s enjoyment.

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(Author : Deena M. Amato-McCoy)
Uniqlo will be popping up at airports and malls across the nation — but not through retail storefronts.

Fast-fashion giant trying on vending machines

Putting a new spin on the term “fast fashion,” the Japanese retailer is launching 6-ft.-high vending machines that will enable customers to purchase T-shirts and lightweight down jackets, the Wall Street Journal reported. Merchandise is packaged in boxes and cans.

According to the report, Uniqlo intends to roll out 10 of the vending machines to airports and malls over the next two months in several key U.S. cities, including New York and Houston. The first unit launched on Wednesday in the Oakland International Airport.
Marisol Tamaro, Uniqlo’s U.S. marketing chief, told the Wall Street Journal, that the vending machines are a good fit for airports because hurried travelers “don’t have a lot of time to wait in line and explore a store. We’re trying to understand where we can be more successful without making a big commitment.” Customers use a touchscreen to select shirt and jacket styles, colors and sizes. Purchases can be made via credit or debit card, and unwanted items can be returned in-store or via mail.
The move comes after Uniqlo, faced with disappointing sales in its U.S. mall stores, has pulled back on its ambitious expansion plans. The company is using its U.S. flagships and unconventional concepts, such as the vending machines, to drive brand awareness.

(Author : Inside Retail Hong Kong)
Sporting goods store Decathlon Hong Kong yesterday launched its first flagship store, at Grand Plaza, Mongkok.

Decathlon Hong Kong opens flagship in Mongkok

Another store is scheduled to open at Causeway Bay Park Lane this month, according to the French brand’s Facebook page. Offering up to 70 types of sports equipment and clothing for amateur and professional athletes, the flagship store covers more than 25,000 sqft (2300 sqm), making it the largest single-storey sporting goods store in Hong Kong. Customers can access extra details about products by scanning the barcode at one of the store’s smart shopping screens.

Another feature is the first-ever “Decathlon community”, which offers expert sporting information and organises free activities to promote physical recreation and sports.

Decathlon first entered Hong Kong in 2015 with a website and e-commerce platform. It last year secured 15-year leases for shops, reports EdgeProp, which says the brand originally planned to open a 35,000 sqft flagship store in Viva Business Park (Chai Chee Technopark).

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(Author : Christine Chou)
In the U.S., car-shopping means hours spent at a local dealership and tense negotiations with salespeople. In China, it requires little more than a tap on the touchscreen of your mobile phone.

In China, the vending machine of the futur sells cars

So far that has meant simply purchasing a new vehicle online. But Tmall, the Alibaba Group-owned B2C shopping site, is looking to take this specific type of e-commerce to the next level—with the “Automotive Vending Machine.”

According to Yu Wei, general manager of Tmall’s automotive division, the company hopes to launch the first such vending machine later this year. Consumers would browse the cars stored in the massive garage-like structure on their smartphones, make their purchase, and then the cars would be delivered to them at ground level. “It will makebuying cars as easy as buying a can of Coke,” Yu said.

Alibaba’s “new automotive retail model” will be the key to making these vending machines a reality. Introduced during Tmall’s “6.18” mid-year sale in June, the model allows mobile shoppers with good credit scores to purchase their new ride in only five minutes.

Anyone with over 750 points on Sesame Credit, Alibaba’s credit-scoring system for consumers, could select a model online, pay a 10 percent initial fee and pick up their new car. Then all they would need to do is to make monthly payments through Alipay until it is paid in full.

For example, to purchase a car priced at 150,000 RMB ($22,200), consumers would pay a 15,000 RMB ($2,220) initial fee to get the vehicle, and then pay installments of less than 2,000 RMB ($300) per month.

About 1,500, or 5 percent, of the 30,000 cars sold on Tmall within the first three days of the new payment model’s launch were purchased by consumers using this system. “The era of online car shopping has already arrived,” said Yu.

Alibaba has been experimenting with different online sales models for the autos industry. Last year, Maserati sold 100 cars in 18 seconds during a flash sale on Tmall to mark the opening of its flagship store on the B2C platform. Fellow Italian luxury car brand Alfa Romeo followed with its own flash sale last March, selling 350 Giulia Milano cars in 33 seconds.

Luxury vehicle brands are expanding online in China to reach the country’s affluent and digitally active consumers, according to research consultancy L2. The move to e-commerce also reduces their reliance on conventional auto dealerships as they seek to drive sales in the country, L2 wrote in a recent report. The report said China, already the world’s largest car market, is projected to become the top market for luxury vehicles by 2020.

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