Shopper Experience

(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.

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(Auteur : Marianne Wilson)
Timberland has opened a new concept store that will be completely transformed with a new theme and products every six weeks.

Timberland unveils new experiential store format

Called Timberland Tree Lab and located at King of Prussia mall, King of Prussia, Pa., the new store emphasizes storytelling and features curated product collections in a gallery-style setting. Sleek, angular design elements combine with minimalist product displays for a fresh and modern brand presentation. Fun displays, including an oversized, Timberland-style periodic table, casually reinforce the science of comfort behind the new technologies that go into the product on display.

While in the Tree Lab, shoppers can also sample a local craft beer (from Tröegs Independent Brewing) or enjoy a bottle of water that may one day be recycled into Timberland linings or shoelaces. The store associates, sporting custom Tree Lab hoodies, are on hand to connect visitors with everything from the latest style trends to local city events.  Tree Lab’s opening theme is called Streetology, and is described as “where style for city streets meets hidden technology that’s been tested and proven for long days (and nights) in the city.”  It showcases Timberland’s new men’s FlyRoam collection.

In late September, Tree Lab will be ramped with an installation called SHEvolution. The entire store will be dedicated to women, with a curated selection of boots and shoes. A holiday-themed installation will open in early November.

The Tree Lab is more than just a place to shop — everything a consumer experiences from the moment they enter has been designed to enhance their visit, expand their horizons, and leave them with a great memory to go along with that beautiful new pair of shoes,” said Kate Kibler, VP of Timberland’s direct to consumer business in North America.

Tree Lab is one of several initiatives Timberland plans to introduce this fall. The brand also plans to open a series of “flex retail” stores across the country, starting with a Mall of America location debuting on Sept. 1. In addition, Timberland plans to open a specialty store in mid-August at the Stanford Shopping Center, Stanford, California, and one in the heart of Portland, Oregon, on Sept. 1.

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(Author : Retail in Asia)
DFS Group has opened a pop up ‘Lips Café’ for a limited time at its T Galleria Beauty by DFS store in Causeway Bay during the month of August as part of its First Class Beauty campaign.

DFS incentivises beauty shoppers at new ‘Lips Café’

Created in collaboration with HABITŪ, ‘one of the city’s most artisanal cafés’, the Lips Café will be open between the hours of 10am and 10pm, in celebration of DFS Group’s annual First Class Beauty campaign and T Galleria Beauty fifth anniversary. Each item on the menu from the Lips Café – from signature drinks to ice-pops, cake rings and cookies – have been inspired by on-trend lipstick colours. To incentivise café customers and DFS shoppers, those who spend HK$80 pop-up will enjoy upgraded beauty rewards upon purchase at T Galleria Beauty.

“First Class Beauty is the ultimate beauty program for the world traveller,” says DFS. “From August 1 – 31, your beauty journey starts at over 20 DFS and T Galleria by DFS locations worldwide.

“To celebrate the campaign, throughout the month of August, shoppers can enjoy a series of extraordinary shopping rewards. Spend HK$1,200 or above each Saturday and Sunday only at T Galleria Beauty to receive a lip shaped cookie-pop.”

Customers who spend HK$1,800 or above can play the First Class Beauty instant-win digital game for a chance to win round-trip business class air tickets for two to Okinawa, deluxe beauty hampers valued at HK$5,000, or beauty products, fashion accessories and cash vouchers. When customers spend HK$3,000 or above, they can personalise their own T Galleria Beauty fifth anniversary tote bag with a choice of iron-on patches.

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(Author : Laura McQuarrie)
The new ASICS store in Brussels, Belgium, introduces a new global retail concept from the brand that’s centered around consumer empowerment. 

This ASICS' Store Concept Helps Consumers Understand Their Own Needs

The space designed and developed by ASICS by Green Room is equipped with vibrant digital displays like the Runkeeper, which combines real-time social posts with data-driven animations from the local running community. As Green Room Amsterdam Creative Director Paul Silcox puts it: “The space works hard to enable and empower the customer, to put them at ease with their selection, but not to dictate to them.”

In the store, dynamic displays and touchscreen stations encourage consumers to discover what products may work best for their needs, as well as connect with on-site staff for a greater sense of community.

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(Author : Deena M Amato-McCoy)
Toys “R” Us is pulling out the stops to engage its in-store shoppers.

Toy retailer’s concept store steps up digital game
The toy retailer describes its concept store in Langley, British Columbia, as “the evolution of our digital future.” To maintain this reputation, Toys “R” Us is partnering with Cineplex Digital Media, and adding an in-store digital signage and kiosk network. The installation includes a large feature wall with 2 ft.-by-2 ft., 55-inch LCD screens, and six 18.5-inch digital end caps. All displays will feature images and video content. 

The store will also feature four point-of-sale integrated kiosks that will be used as an ‘endless aisle’ solution. Here, customers can browse the brand’s entire offering, watch videos and read product information prior to making a purchase. Customers can place orders through the kiosk, and choose to pick up their purchase at the front of the store or have it shipped to their home, the retailer said.

“The new integrated network elevates the shopping experience and makes it easier for customers to locate the products they are looking for, gain in depth information and make their purchases directly from a number of kiosks located throughout the store,” said Clint Gaudry, the chain’s VP, marketing and store planning.

Cineplex Digital Media will lead all content creation for the kiosks, and provide content management for the digital end caps and feature wall signage.

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(Author : Retail in Asia)
Unveiled in May 2017, the Myeong-dong flagship store is presented as an interactive beauty destination, the “House of Color Play”, where customers can be creative with cosmetics.

Personalisation and experimentation are at the heart of Etude House

Bringing a sophisticated, confident attitude while staying true to the brand’s playful spirit, it expresses Etude House’s refreshed “Sweet Dream” philosophy. 

The Myeong-dong flagship store offers a brand experience over three floors. Complementing the refreshed façade are the sleek, on-trend and contemporary interiors that instantly wows customers entering the store and offers a glimpse of the mezzanine level.

On the ground floor, customers are encouraged to explore all Etude House products, share looks and socialise around an oval mid-floor table that’s haloed by a modern lighting feature and illuminated wall mirrors. Key Etude House décor details such the parquet floor and Georgian panels have been mixed with more contemporary fixtures and materials.

The mezzanine level introduces a Personal Studio offering, My Colour Finder and My Color Draping services for finding each customers’ most suitable shades. New ‘Find your Look’ demos empower and educate customers, adding a unique Etude House twist by including skincare to the how-to guides.

D&P introduced nine signature looks for this section, with beauty experts on hand to demonstrate and advise. Digital is also a strong part of the Etude House experience, with expanded product stories and immersive tutorials. For example, girls can find out their exact skin tone using a specialist face colour scanner.

Even more personalisation and play is delivered on the second floor with the Color Factory concept. Customers can blend bespoke lipsticks at the ‘My Lips Bar’ using cutting-edge beauty technology. They can then select a favourite lipstick case and have their name engraved on the packaging.

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(Auteur : Laura McQuarrie)
A growing consumer desire for peace of mind has created a heightened demand for all sorts of meditation spaces, including everything from mobile booths to dedicated meditation studios. Now, Lululemon—a Canadian activewear brand that is synonymous with yoga—has launched its first-ever ‘Mindfulosophy’ space.

Lululemon Opened an Area for 'Mindfulosophy' Within Its NYC Store

Inside of its new 8,000 square foot store on NYC’s Fifth Avenue, Lululemon carved out a concept space for visitors to “experience yoga in a different way—off the mat, through meditation.” Via headphones, visitors are able to tune into guided meditations recorded by Lululemon’s director of mindful performance Danielle Nagel and Tom Waller, who leads the brand’s Whitespace Innovation Lab.

While Lululemon regularly offers in-store yoga sessions at its retail stores, Mindfulosophy offers a new way for consumers to partake in a mindfulness practice, even in the midst of one of the busiest cities on the planet.

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(Author :  Retail Design Blog)
With the urban Junction District as its home, the new store environment takes inspiration from its industrial surroundings and city streetscapes. It authentically incorporates elements such as streetscape-inspired architectural details and textures, murals and graffiti, street signs, pavement markings, guardrails, street lights, and building signs.

Organic Garage flagship store

To add to the authenticity, a local graffiti artist painted over brick walls giving a vibrant and urban feel to the space. It features one of the largest organic produce selections available in Toronto, more than 100 bulk options, a new api(+) designed Kitchen Originals private label, a seasonal salad bar and state of the art, environmentally friendly refrigeration and HVAC technologies.

Organic Garage flagship store1

api(+) provided brand positioning and identity, private label packaging design, interior store design, signage and graphics, and digital collateral design. The address is 43 Junction Road Toronto, Ontario M6N 1B5. They held a ribbon cutting at 8:45 a.m. and opened at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, July 5, 2017. Organic Garage is a grocery retailer of organic and natural products.

Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Toronto, the company operates a centralized warehouse as well as three stores in the greater Toronto area: Oakville, Vaughan and their newest location, in Toronto’s Junction district. Organic Garage has announced plans to open its fourth store in 2018 in the Leaside neighborhood in central Toronto.

Organic Garage flagship store2

ArchitecturePlus International, api(+) is an international award-winning design firm specializing in food retail, specialty retail, restaurants and retail centers. It offers a full spectrum of services to the retail industry and solutions that maximize return on investment via strategy and design. It is headquartered in Tampa, Florida and has a South Florida office in Miami.

Organic Garage3

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(Author : Mary Van Puymbroeck)
This shopping mall gaming booth at Shanghai’s ‘Global Harbor Mall’ is meant to serve as a rest stop for tired husbands while their wives shop. 

This Gaming Booth is for Husbands to Use While Their Wives Shop

In an effort to increase brick and mortar retail sales, the Global Harbor Mall has installed two video game rest stops. These shopping mall gaming booths are free to use in the first stage of pilot testing (but will likely be accompanied with a fee once fully launched) and have been very successful. In the booths, guests are able to watch television and play their favorite video games.

Some women are concerned they won’t be able to remove their husbands from the game. Fortunately for them, the booths don’t contain any source of air conditioning or ventilation, which may force some men out of the booths eventually.

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(Auteur : Retail Design World)
Chicken brand KFC is working with RPA: Group Architecture to roll out a new branch format to 890 UK stores.

KFC's new format rolling out to 890 branches

The format, designed by KFC’s in-house design team, seeks to modernise restaurants with an “informal and stylish” feel. New features include butchers block and timber plank kitchen tables, and low-hanging copper lights. Exposed ceilings and textured brick-effect walls continue the theme, with illustrations from commissioned artists adding character.

KFC's new format rolling out to 890 branches1

“The new design boasts a semi-open plan kitchen which means that KFC fans can see their food being made in front of them,” says RPA: Group executive director of architecture Mark Cherrett. “Previous strong use of the red colour of the KFC branding is now used more as an accent colour, appearing fresh in features such as chair legs and graphics.”

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