IKEA Emoticons, Printed Clothes, Digital Merchandise Walls & More

The past few weeks have seen some innovative to downright zany developments in the retail tech world. From merchandise walls to IKEA’s relationship-building emojis, we bring you our favourite bits of retail news.


1) Retail boom

It look like 2015 is going to be a good year for retailers! The National Retail Federation‘s latest forecast bodes well, with a projected growth in retail sales of 4.1% – a significant increase from last year. Fingers crossed that this proves true! Read more: http://goo.gl/B7i178

2) Epson Fabric Printer

In true New York Style, Epson unveiled its latest printer at a Fashion Week Party. However, this printer sets itself apart: this Epson invention is, in fact, a fabric printer – and it’s worth a whopping $20,000. This could prove revolutionary for the fashion industry, cutting costs for designers and allowing for a higher product turnover. It’s one exciting piece of tech to keep an eye on! http://goo.gl/x4KM3l

3) Merchandise Wall

Furniture e-tailer, Made.com, has opened up an interactive showroom in Central London, which features many digital elements. Alongside iMAC stations (to place orders) and CloudTags Tablets (to access product info while browsing), the showroom also has a merchandise wall. This allows the brand to overcome the obvious constraint of space, letting them display their full catalogue in-store: http://goo.gl/5YLX5G

4) Paparazzi-proof Clothing 

Ever had a photo taken when you’re not keen to be photographed? The camera shy amongst us can now rejoice. DJ Chris Holmes has developed an Anti Paparazzi Collection on Betabrand. The products are made from a retroreflective fabric, which renders a camera’s flash pointless by producing an incredibly bright glare. Don’t believe us? http://goo.gl/ZotsOM

5) Pin it, Buy it 

No longer will you be subject to the frustration that comes with trying to identify an unknown product you love on Pinterest. In a move that is sure to delight its 70 million users, Pinterest has revealed plans to develop an in app ‘Buy’ button following along the lines of Fancy. This is a very bold move and could see the company become an e-commence giant. Read away: http://goo.gl/AsoXW1

6) Home Depot x FIRST Phone

Home Depot has rolled out 40,000 custom FIRST Phone smartphones to employees, with the goal of making check-out a more efficient process. The new phones feature improved battery life, mag-stripe payment-card readers and specialised laser scanners to read product barcodes. These new phones mark a significant upgrade when compared to their first generation of FIRST Phones: http://goo.gl/nEny6U

7) Express Yourself 

Who needs words these days? IKEA agrees. The homewares giant has developed its own range of Emojis – boasting everything from Swedish meatballs to a Daschshund – which can be downloaded onto your phone. Why, you ask? The retailer wants to improve communication between couples and limit in-store fall out.  Show us a couple who haven’t argued over IKEA products and we’ll eat our words – besides, less talk means more time for shopping! We think this is too funny not to share: http://goo.gl/vkUoXU

8) Is mobile driving retail distraction?

PwC has released its Global 2015 Total Retail Survey. The report focuses on four particular disruptions and concluded that mobile was responsible for most of them. They were: the changing role of the store, mobile and related technologies, the proliferation of social networks, and demographic shifts. Agree or disagree, we’d love to hear your thoughts: http://goo.gl/Ve2fb4

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