Shopper Experience

(Author : Power Retail)
IKEA Australia has today launched the IKEA Virtual Reality store. The virtual store is a first for a large format retailer in Australia, providing a unique digital experience that allows customers to ‘walk’ the iconic IKEA store and browse products.

IKEA Australia Launches First VR Store

IKEA customers can now visit the home furnishings retailer wherever, whenever via its new virtual reality store. The innovative technology is designed to enhance customers’ online shopping experience following the successful launch of online shopping in the ACT and surrounds, Tasmania, North Queensland and the NT. For customers in areas with online shopping, purchases can also be made through the virtual store on a desktop device. IKEA Australia multichannel specialist Malcolm Haylett said the IKEA Virtual Reality Store was about bringing online shopping to life in a new, interactive way.

“The IKEA Virtual Reality store has been developed to support our online shopping service. We know that it’s important for customers to see and experience our home furnishings range. IKEA has recently made a move towards online retailing, but we want to offer the full IKEA store experience to our online shoppers,” says Haylett.

We know that IKEA customers like to look online for inspiration before making a purchase. The IKEA Virtual Reality Store is simply a different and more immersive tool that allows you to do that. Through the innovative tool you can stand in a room-set and visualise it as if you were there in person, and you can for example, see our full range of sofas or beds at a glance. In the IKEA Virtual Reality Store you self-navigate the experience as if you walking an IKEA store.”

“Online shopping at IKEA is all about giving more accessibility to customers who want to shop with us wherever, whenever. Our unique Virtual Reality experience will support our current online shopping offering through our Canberra store and 10 collection points around the country.”

The IKEA Virtual Reality Store will be officially launched in Townsville this weekend, on the back of a successful online shopping store and collection point coming online in the area earlier this year.

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(Author :  Retail Design Blog)
In the 1950s in New Zealand a few men got together to sell fish. So far, there is nothing unusual about this. However, their idea was to only sell top quality fish. This principle has reaped rewards and continues to be the company philosophy of Lee Fish to this day: respect for and in harmony with nature, the sea, the fish and the fishermen is their top priority.

El Pescador fish market

Today, Lee Fish is an international company with branches in New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Asia and the US and sells products from partners in Australia, Japan, the Philippines, the Maldives, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. The El Pescador fish market in Sihlbrugg in Switzerland is part of the Lee Fish group. El Pescador is much more than just an ordinary fish shop. It includes a shop, a small restaurant, and even a cookery school. El Pescador’s passion for quality fish and sustainable fishing is reflected throughout the 450-square metre shop.

El Pescador fish market1

As soon as you enter, you will be blown over by the truly spectacular interpretation of the world of Lee Fish. The dark environment envelops the products like the depths of the oceans. Skewed reflective foil on the walls create reflections on the floor that are reminiscent of the play of the sunlight on the surface of the water. El Pescador is the Spanish word for fisherman. The English translation of the word parts Pescad and Or is golden fish. The large, almost golden illuminated ring above the central round cooling counter is a true eye-catcher. This impressive structure is complemented by large-size fish prints, smoked oak, a concrete floor and white tiles.

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(Author : : Ellen Smith)
Grocery vending machines have taken over a Walmart parking lot in Oklahoma as the superstore chain experiments with alternative grocery shopping methods.

Walmart Has Implimented a Giant Grocery-Dispensing Self-Serve Kiosk

The giant self-serve kiosk allows customers to pick up their groceries without waiting in lines, or interacting with employees. Customers pick and pay for their groceries online, while store employees gather and pick the selected items, placing them in storage bins. When the customer arrives at the kiosk, they simply enter their pick-up code, and their groceries will appear within a minute.

This grocery vending machine is open 24/7 and can fulfill hundreds of orders a day. The kiosk provides convenience and efficiency, limiting a sometimes hours-long excursion to just a few minutes. Ideal for busy families, or lovers of efficiency, Walmart’s kiosk could revolutionize the grocery market, creating an experience with as little human interaction as possible.

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(Author : Sarah Ahssen)
One year after a first opening in Paris, Guerlain has inaugurated its second fragrance boutique, dedicated to the perfumery art the maison has been practising for 190 years. The store is located at 52 avenue Louise in Brussels.

Guerlain deploys fragrance boutique concept internationally

Inside the store, the Guerlain perfume collections are grouped into four olfactory families, for a total of 110 different scents.

A digital consultation service is available for customers, to discover their olfactory profile and make the ideal choice. Once a fragrance has been selected, the customer is invited to the personalisation atelier, where they can choose their preferred bottle shape and colour, engrave a message and select ribbons and bows to decorate the bottle, making each perfume a unique creation.

The LVMH group’s fragrance label has already announced an “ambitious” international deployment plan for its perfume showcase.

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(Author :
Coco Café is finally landing in Hong Kong this week. After its eye-poppingly Instagrammable stops in Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore and Shanghai, Chanel’s pop-up café will be taking over the Causeway Bay (G/F 38 Yiu Wah Street, Causeway Bay) branch of Coffee Academics from June 10 to 25.

Chanel’s pop-up Coco Café is finally in Hong Kong

The beauty brand has created its own chic little universe, where you can sit back with a neon pink cup of coffee and peruse a special edition of The Coco Daily (don’t forget to bring your shades to complete the Parisian café look).

Of course, it is Chanel, so they’re not just going to serve lattes and cakes—you can also expect to see ‘beauty bubble tea’ and perfume-inspired juices on the menu, if they follow their recipes from Singapore.

After that, head over to the beauty counters for a free mini makeover, and then get a quick change of your nail shades at the nail bar. Spruce up your look with some tattoo stickers, and spritz on some Chance fragrance for the final touch.

Don’t forget to commemorate the occasion with a few snaps in the photo booth, which will have Chanel-themed digital stickers. We have our heads in a fluffy pink cloud just dreaming about it.

As if that’s not enough, visitors will also be treated to a sneak preview of Chanel’s new lip product, Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur. The intense crayon lipstick, which comes in 11 shades, will be shown in Asia for the first time.

Gorgeous makeup and delectable treats—what more could a girl ask for? Register online for a complimentary drink, door gift and priority entry. Time slots are filling up fast, so we suggest you get on it quickly.

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(Author : Laura McQuarrie)
There are countless fast food drive-thru stations that can be visited around the world, but this one created by McDonald’s in Sao Paulo, Brazil, sets itself up right on the road alongside drivers.

McDonald's Dia Drive is a Roving Drive-Thruck on Wheels

The “Drive-Thruck” is like a hybrid between a food truck and a traditional drive-thru station, making it possible to bring the food-ordering experience right to drivers, rather than requiring them to travel. People in cars who pulled up alongside the unique McDonald’s station were handed orders of fries, ice cream cones and soft drinks in the same way that they would ordinarily receive food and drink items from a drive-thru window.

The Dia Drive stunt was devised with the help of Brazilian agency DPZ&T to remind people just how easy it is to find a McDonald’s drive-thru window virtually anywhere throughout the country.

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(Author : Vinny Halo)
New York cosmetic brand Kiehl’s will open the world’s first Kiehl’s Coffee House and shop in Taiwan in June.

Kiehl’s opens world first coffee house in Taipei

Located in Taipei, the premium skincare brand’s first global coffee shop will be “New York” theme, and will take on a shop-in-shop design. Black and white will feature throughout with wooden tones. The café shop will provide customers with coffee and snacks, as well as Kiehl’s products and skincare consulting services. The L’Oreal-owned brand hopes the new coffee house will increase consumer and brand interaction. According to local reports, the mainland’s first coffee shop is also in preparation. Taiwan boasts seven standalone Kiehl’s stores in Taipei, Hualien City and Taichung City. Pharmacist John Keihl founded Kiehl’s in 1851. It started as a single pharmacy in Manhattan at Third Avenue and East 13th Street in 1851.

Nowadays, the American cosmetics retailer is part of L’Oreal Group’s beauty stable and specialises in premium skin, hair, and body care products.

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(Author : Jana Pijak)
This Ray Ban popup shop is both compact and chic, spotlighting the luxury eyewear brand’s latest collection. Located in the heart of The Grove — one of LA’s most popular outdoor shopping districts — the temporary boutique is built to resemble an industrial shipping container and spans 200 square feet in size.

The Grove’s Ray Ban Popup Resembles a Revamped Shipping Container

While this Ray Ban popup boasts a metal-clad exterior that is showcased in a black shade, its interior features a bold red color scheme, reflective of its signature branding. Despite its portable size, this temporary retail space showcases Ray Ban’s covetable eyewear accessories on stacked display shelves that are wall hung, and even leaves room for a sculptural cash register and additional, free-standing units that are used for project merchandising and storage.

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(Author : Sandra Halliday)
To mark the start of the Summer season from now up until June 4, the window of Topshop’s global flagship store on London’s Oxford Street has been transformed into an interactive pool scene, complete with a 360º Virtual Reality water slide, “ready to take customers on a fully immersive ride.”

Topshop adds VR to flagship to celebrate start of summer

It’s a major development for the retailer with users starting their VR journey seated on a giant inflatable at the entrance to the slide and then being “thrust into a fictional Topshop-themed world with a few surprises along the way.” Starting at the store, “the ride will see consumers embark on a hyper-real, high-intensity journey across London’s streets, twisting and turning their way through the computer-generated landscape.”

It’s an interesting development for a store that usually grabs more headlines for its collaboration with supermodels and designers or the activities of its controlling shareholder Sir Philip Green.

But it reflects the major impact advanced technology is making on retail and how flagships need to be more than just big and well-stocked, they need to offer one-of-a-kind experiences too. Given that this is as much about marketing as anything, consumers will be able to share the experience with their social followers in a dedicated Splash! at Topshop area within the store. And Snapchat users will be able to access an exclusive Topshop lens available from May 27 “that will see them immersed in a surreal summer-themed aquatic world.”

Sheena Sauvaire, Global Marketing and Communications Director at the company, said: “Topshop Oxford Street has one of the most prominent store fronts in the world. As VR technology continues to advance our desire was to blend it with retail theatre to create an immersive and shareable experience for our consumers, as a fun way to celebrate the start of summer.”

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REI Flagship store

(Author : retail design blog)
For their fifth flagship, and first foray into the Washington, D.C. market, the nation’s largest consumer co-op and specialty outdoor retailer, REI, chose a space at the historic Washington Coliseum (Uline Arena) in DC’s emerging NoMa neighborhood.

REI Flagship Store

The 51,000-SF flagship represents the culmination of an 18-month process to completely reimagine REI’s store experience. Multiple terraces flow down into the store, breaking down the cavernous single-level, 50,000-SF floorplate while increasing the ceiling height to accommodate REI’s diverse mix of outdoor gear. The terraces not only create vistas across the entire store, but also naturally break down the space into a collection of smaller, intimate shopping zones. The different platforms create an amphitheater vibe, harking back to the historic concerts and sporting events held in the arena. The use of conventional interior finishes, such as drywall, was purposefully minimized, in keeping with the “gear garage” aesthetic. The architecture and material palette is simple, raw, and utilitarian; the walls are lined with exposed plywood and concrete backer board.

REI Flagship Store1

The wood flooring was salvaged from dunnage—wood used for packing cargo on shipping trucks. Large steel garage doors let in light and air, and kilim rugs and eclectic seating groups help to soften the overall experience. REI’s eclectic mix of found objects, hand finished graphics, furnishings, vintage outdoor gear and local artifacts add a human touch and moments of softness within the vast assortment of gear and apparel.

Highlights at the DC flagship include a 1965 VW wagon, complete with a keg on the roof, and one-of-a-kind props like a lime green ceramic fire place anchoring the Snowboard shop. A completely new way of looking at the REI stores, the market concept elevates the brand and best highlights REI’s service and expertise. Most importantly, it inspires REI members to take action and head outdoors.

REI Flagship Store2

The collection of focal points around the perimeter blend into the eclectic marketplace commons in the center of the store to create a relaxed, casual and communal vibe intersected by moments of discovery and inspiration. Bringing the “outdoors in” was a key goal for the store. Large warehouse-style windows and garage doors allow daylight to enter and offer views into the store. The outdoor courtyard encourages local outdoor enthusiasts to hang out. REI’s expert staff uses the space for gear demos and events.

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