A big Happy New Year to one and all! Apologies for the delay, we’ve been preoccupied rolling around in gift wrap and recovering from the holiday festivities (aka excessive food consumption). The year has kicked off wonderfully with the news that Booodl stores appeared in Google searches over 600,000 times, that’s approximately 40 times per store!
We’re ready to tackle 2016 and keep you up-to-date on all the retail happenings that ensure. Here’s a select few to get you started:
1) Eat, drink & shop luxury with Burberry
What do you get when you match high-end retail spaces with upscale dining? Apparently, very satisfied customers! Recently, luxury retailer Burberry introduced the option for their shoppers to dine with them in ‘Thomas’s Cafe’ in hope that it will lead to more time spent in-store. Already capturing media attention and reviews from sites including OpenTable, Time Out & TripAdvisor, the cafe offers a rotating menu including lobster, chips, salmon, eggs, oysters and more, all sourced from UK farmers and artisans. The retail ‘experience’ has been an ongoing trend now, and as Details points out, includes Ralph Lauren’s restaurant in the New York Polo flagship store, Roberto Cavalli’s Ibiza restaurant and lounge, and Bergdorf Goodman’s Bar. Today, retail is about creating an experience and we think this is a smart manoeuvre- after all, the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach!
2) Robots, drones & self-driving cars, oh my!
For a company that began with a digital hub team of only 30 people, one can only question why department store chain, Kohl’s, invested a whopping $1 billion into this research and development sector over the last three years. As it turns out, the answer is quite simple: to avoid falling behind companies such as Amazon, Google and Facebook, all of which are altering consumer expectations in today’s market. With plans to invest a further $1 billion into the innovation lab, consumers can expect a digital makeover: data analysis, RFID tags, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and gadgets like robots, drones and autonomous cars! According to Ratnakar Lavu, executive vice president of digital technology, the company’s vision will begin with “testing so that when the time is right…we’ll know exactly how to do it.” Get the full spiel on these latest and greatest additions here: http://goo.gl/eBpj5t
3) Shopping centres – less retail, more experience?
It’s a problem retailers are all too aware of: the decline of “traditional” model shopping centres, rather known as retail showrooms, as consumers seek out cheaper prices and efficiency via mobile devices. Looking at Alibaba’s ‘Single’s Day’ shopping event which generated $14.3 billion last year, Hong Kong nightlife district pioneer, Lan Kwai, suggests the solution could reside in malls to stop focusing on selling things but rather experiences as entertainment meccas. “Shoppers still have to go out for entertainment and restaurants” he reported in Forbes. According to Kwai, an ideal mall should constitute of 35-40% retail, and up to 65% should be dedicated to entertainment and food and beverage spaces. This vision is currently underway for 2016 at the Shanghai Dream Centre mall- equipped with an animation studio from DreamWorks, IMAX movie theatre and broadway-styled theatre for live performances, just to name a few.
4) A SCOTTeVEST for spies, geeks and everything in between!
In a world so interconnected and equipped with endless devices, you’re given two choices: lug around a bag carrying your laptops, tablets, iPhones and all other gadgets, or rather, slip on a jacket designed to do the hard work for you! If you’re a sucker for cool inventions, then it’s worth getting your head around the CES2016: a sleek-looking, enforcer jacket with in-built pockets and secret passages for all your devices. SCOTTeVEST, the tech-friendly clothing company are behind the creation, released their latest model of the jacket which includes specific routes for connecting headphones and chargers, and safe-guarded with RFID tags to secure information for all you safety-weary customers. It’s even be looked over and tested by a chiropractor to ensure it was well balanced. Sounds like we’ll be as hands-free as inspector gadget in no time!
5) The brick-and-mortar ‘buzz’… literally
At Booodl, we believe there’s one essential fact that all brick-and-mortar retailers should know: despite the popularity of online shopping, nearly 92% of retail sales are made in brick-and-mortar locations. As Forbes reports, ShopAdvisor has utilised this and included location-based mobile marketing and geofencing in their latest update to boost sales. What’s better is that the beauty of beacons can even pinpoint a customer’s location down to whether they’re browsing the shoe aisle or tech department! During a collaboration with Elle Magazine, the app boosted average sales per transaction by 30% in just one week. When used correctly, this technology is a useful way to aid the shopping experience; through data analytics, the technology can create personalised offers and information which act as a service completely dedicated to customers’ preferences. Sounds like a win-win to us!