Sales Activation

(Author : retail in asia)
American lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret has opened its first full store in mainland China, a four-story, 25,850-square-foot flagship in Shanghai, with another to follow this week.

Victoria’s Secret opens first China flagship

The Ohio, Columbus-based brand opened the Shanghai store to the public on Thursday. Located in the city’s Huangpu district on Huaihai Road, the strip was once known as the ‘Fifth Avenue’ of Shanghai. The arrival of brands like Victoria Secret has city personnel hopeful the street will return to its former retail glory.

“The Victoria’s Secret store, together with some other new commercial projects to be launched this year, will reinvigorate the commerce environment of Huaihai Road and help it to restore its former glory,” Chen Yong, director of the Commission of Commerce for Huangpu district, told a media briefing last Friday.

Owned by L Brands, Victoria’s Secret is ramping up its Asia expansion, eight months after first announcing it planned to officially open standalone stores in China. Accompanying this week’s Shanghai flagship, a 12,294-square-foot store in Chengdu will open Friday, while a Beijing store is coming later this year. “This is an enormous market for us,” L Brands International President Martin Walters told reporters on Thursday. L Brands expects the three China stores to generate $150 million in annual sales, with China expected to equal or even surpass the U.S. in sales in the long term.

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(Author : Caroline Baldwin)
Pizza Express has launched a Facebook Messenger chatbot, allowing customers to book a table at their local restaurant by having a conversation with AI technology.

Pizza Express launches chatbot for table bookings

The pizza chain claims to be the first UK restaurant providing customers with this booking option. Customers using the social media channel can book a table without leaving the Facebook app. The chatbot is integrated with liveRES, so bookings made through the new platform are entered into Pizza Express’ back-end system in the same way as a booking is made online.

“We’ve been watching recent advancements in Messenger with great interest, and the PizzaExpress bot will provide a huge opportunity for our customers to interact with us and book a table wherever they are, whenever they need us,” said Tim Love, senior social media manager at PizzaExpress.

“Our mission is, naturally, to make life as easy as possible for our customers; so given that a large proportion of our fan base is very active on Facebook Messenger, they can now directly interact with us without even needing to leave the platform.”

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(Author : Laura McQuarrie)
Rebecca Minkoff’s Self-Checkout Solution is Powered by QueueHop.

Mobile Self-Payment Systems

Affordable luxury fashion label and leader in digital innovation Rebecca Minkoff, recently launched a self-checkout system in its SoHo flagship store as of the first of December in 2016.

The self-serve checkout experience has been completely redesigned with QueueHop, a “RFID-enabled apparel security tag that disables anti-theft security after mobile payment.” For the project, QueueHop worked exclusively with Rebecca Minkoff’s design and technology teams.

Rebecca Minkoff’s Store of the Future concept originally launched in 2014, with plans to eventually introduce a self-checkout option. While self-checkout technology is commonly seen at grocery stores and other retail environments, part of the challenge of implementing it across fashion stores has been the potential for theft. QueueHop gives shoppers, particularly Millennials, complete control of their shopping experience, while also prioritizing loss prevention.

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(Author : Jana Pijak)
Walmart’s Holiday Helper Staff Aimed to Speed Up Checkout Times.

Department Store Holiday Helpers

Walmart’s in-store holiday helpers were stationed in stores across America this past December in an attempt to speed up checkout times while providing customer service in the process.

Wearing bright yellow uniforms and holding signs that read “S’no line here!” the helpers aided department store visitors with wayfinding, leading them straight to checkout lines that were made speedier and more efficient with their presence — easing the stress of consumers who are used to more hectic holiday shopping experiences.

While simple, Walmart’s decision to hire holiday helpers was one that eased the lives of those doing their holiday shopping, a task that is synonymous with long in-store lineups and massive crowds. This marketing tactic not only improved consumer engagement but also ensured that Walmart’s in-store transactions were handled more efficiently internally.

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(Author : retail in asia)
British-owned Superdry has opened a new store in Beijing, unveiling its Superdry snow and sports collections in China at the same time.

Superdry opens new Beijing store, debuts ski collection in mainland China

The new store opening is in Sanlitun, an area of the Chaoyang District containing popular bar streets and international stores. The store interior hosts Asian hand-painted pieces mixed with American-style retro features, which can be seen upon entering the store. At the entrance, Superdry’s neon logo shines over the store’s steel and metal pipes with exposed ceilings and concrete floor offering a modern industrial feel. Walls are made of oak and light is warm and retro-rock themed. The store also carries the concept of the socket wall (an industrial bolt-on display wall), a flexible space to showcase Superdry’s unique British tailoring.

But Superdry’s snow and ski collection at the new China store is the country’s first, offering performance and leisure apparel for the winter season. To celebrate the opening of the new store, the Superdry held a three-day celebration, to give back to customers a full range product experience. In addition, the graffiti creative team Color were also invited providing consumers with custom t-shirt graffiti printing.

Superdry is owned by SuperGroup, which turned in an impressive set of half-year results when it reported back in November 2016. Group revenues rose 31.1% to £334m and e-commerce sales rose by 25% to £215.2m. Wholesale also surged, with a 43.8% rise to £118.8m and like-for-like sales rose 12.8%. That figure was lower than the 17.2% increase of a year ago, but felt viable considering the difficult trading conditions seen in fashion in 2016.

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(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.

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(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.

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(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.

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(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.

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(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.

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