GDR NRF Newsletter Jan 2019

Data-powered concept store creates distinct customer journeys for four key shopping tribes

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The NomadX multi-brand concept store in Singapore offers a different in-store experience for different types of customers based on how they self-identify about what type of shopper they are.

The first time a customer visits the store they are invited to join one of four shopping tribes: Sea (the “enigmatic shopper”), Mountain (the “conquer-it-all shopper”), Forest (the “love-the-earth shopper”) and Wind (the “live-it-up shopper”). This selection is linked with the customer’s CapitaStar account, which is a popular multi-retailer loyalty and rewards scheme in Singapore.

Every time they visit the store thereafter, these customers are recognized by facial recognition and a proposed shopping route is sent to their smartphones, alongside product and deal recommendations.

This interaction creates the feeling that the shopping experience has been created just for them, but all members of the same tribe receive the same advice.

NomadX is made up of flexible plug-and-play concession units that brands can rent for short-term leases. This aims to create a rotating stable of brands and retailers so the experience in the store is always changing and evolving. 

“Tenants set up temporary homes like nomads — thus the inspiration for the store’s name — that are demarcated by modular panels and equipped with interactive technologies to encourage prodct discovery and play,” CapitaLand said.

At launch, the curated selection of 18 tenants included a wide range of gadgets, consumer electronics, fashion, beauty and food and beverage selections. Currently, tenants such as Karl Lagerfeld, Taobao, JBL, Mamonde and Miss Selfridge fill the space.

Neighborhood Goods reimagines the department store as WeWork for retail

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Recently opened store concept Neighborhood Goods challenges the conventional department store model by renting its entire shop floor to challenger brands.

Neighborhood Goods rents out its space to direct-to-consumer brands and others that don’t have their own physical stores for a monthly fee. These brands can then use the space to test concepts ahead of potentially opening their own spaces in the future.

To help these brands gain as much insight as possible from their Neighborhood Goods residency, the store is fitted with advanced cameras that monitor shoppers’ activity, much like at tech showroom b8ta. Through the Neighborhood Goods iOS app, shoppers then receive targeted ads based on products they picked up or examined while in the store. This app also allows shoppers to ask questions of store associates as well as make purchases.

The space also includes a bar and a restaurant, which are designed to bleed into the shopping experience rather than exist alongside it. Shoppers are welcome to walk around with a glass of wine from the bar; conversely, they can have a product brought over to them by staff while they eat at the restaurant.

A “sneaker museum” educates customers about the history of “drops,” and frequent events and art installations are held on-site in the store’s communal spaces.

Brands renting space at launch include bedding brand Allswell, men’s personal care brand Hims, underwear start-up MeUndies and streetwear marketplace Stadium Goods.

From the consumer’s perspective, this model should ensure that the brands present are consistently fresh and exciting, and it certainly makes sense for young brands wishing to dip their toes into bricks-and-mortar retail. It’s a model we may well see proliferate; Re:store, which will open in the spring in San Francisco, and Showfields, which just opened in New York, both take a similar approach, selling brands monthly floorspace and coworking subscriptions.

Full address: 7300 Windrose Ave Suite A130, Plano, TX 75024, USA.

Sam’s Club app creates a more efficient and informed in-store shopping experience

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Sam’s Club Now is a new app-driven store format from Sam’s Club in Dallas that uses shoppers’ smartphones to enrich and streamline the shopping experience.

The app links to the in-store experience in four key ways. The first of these is through “smart shopping lists” which use previous purchase data and machine learning to predict customers’ shopping lists. These are automatically populated but can be easily amended.
Secondly, the app uses augmented reality to display engaging product information at the shelf edge. Items can be scanned to trigger information about products’ provenance or recipe ideas.

The app is also designed to provide wayfinding: Shoppers can use voice search to launch a map that takes them to the right products, and Sam’s Club will soon be using beacon technology to map the fastest route through the store to allow customers to pick up all the items on their smart shopping list in the most efficient way. The fourth feature allows members to place and pick up a remote order within one hour.

The Dallas store will serve as Sam’s Club’s testing ground for new technologies. In addition to the app features described above, Sam’s Club says it will use the new store to “test electronic shelf labels that will instantly update prices, removing the need to print and replace new item price signs. And down the road, we’ll use the more than 700 cameras in the club to help us manage inventory in new ways and optimise the layout to make shopping effortless.”

Full address: 2218 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206, USA

Toy store’s revolving themes put experience ahead of purchase

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Camp is a toy store concept in New York that combines shopping and play. The 10,000-square-foot Fifth Avenue flagship is designed to look like a summer camp and includes a central theme that changes every eight to 12 weeks.

Customers enter through a permanent storefront called the Canteen, where a Milk Bar cafe serves Camp-themed sundaes and food items based on each new theme. The Canteen also sells toys, books, gifts, apparel and everyday supplies.

A secret magic door leads to “Base Camp,” the experiential part of the store which offers camp-inspired activities such as sports, arts and crafts, dance and theatre. It is sponsored by partners such as Mastercard, Rockets of Awesome (children’s subscription boxes), Kids Made Modern (crafts and room décor) and Primary (colourful basics for babies and children).

Children are encouraged to run around, touch things, play music on a piano-like boardwalk and create their own songs on a switchboard in the Radio Lab. There is also a disco room with a light-up dance floor, sequin-covered walls and a live DJ.

Borrowing heavily from Disney World, high-traffic attractions are positioned next to purchasing opportunities. Those who prefer not to join the queue can buy tickets to skip the line. The classes and activities are aimed at new mothers during the workweek and young children during the weekends, and are meant to help Camp build a loyal, local customer base. Non-branded classes are 45-60 minutes long and cost $20-30 per child, with one parent admitted for free. They include activities such as “Marshmallow Animal Sculptures” and “Make Your Own Camp Pennant.”

In addition to an arts and crafts hut, there is also a “Campitheater” where children can learn songs from musicals and dance numbers in front of a fake campfire.

At launch in December the theme was “base camp, a nostalgic New England summer camp.”

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