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InsighTCC: August round-up

Team TCC are back with a bumper crop of news, views, and everything in between from the world of retail and beyond.

This month we see some fresh takes on classic InsighTCC topics including sustainable initiatives, retail localisation, and a couple of Selfridges stunners, as well as a fascinating look into the emotional response from in store vs online purchases.

All aboard: Hendrick’s Gin bus stop takeovers
Move over 6 sheets, hello full bus stop takeovers! Hendrick’s have taken over a series of bus stops to celebrate their rose and cucumber variant in the most fabulous way possible. The ceiling is covered in greenery adorned with roses and cucumber, while a transparent side panel sees an oversized Hendrick’s bottle pour real liquid into a glass, and a doorbell initiates a branded monologue and scented mist. What a way to capitalise on guaranteed dwell time, turning ‘wasted’ space into a brand experience.

Fast franchise: Wendy’s opens dark kitchens in the UK
US restaurant brand Wendy’s Burgers have returned to the UK for the first time in 20 years, setting up shop in Reading with plans to expand into London. However, they’re also proposing the introduction of a franchise model, in partnership with Reef, that aims to eventually open 400 ‘dark kitchen’ sites, selling through established online sites including UberEATS and Deliveroo. It’s a great way to cut costs on rental space and test the appetite across the country (don’t excuse the pun).

Reduce, reuse, relove: Coach Re(LOVED) vintage store, New York
Luxury accessory brand, Coach, has launched a new retail offering of restored handbags in New York. The new store, Coach Re(LOVED), consists of restored and upcycled handbags, rescued from their Repair Workshop. The Re(LOVED) project will consists of two pop ups in the US, supported by an in-store pop up called The Smallest Vintage Store In The World which will showcase the most desirable pieces in the range. Reframing repaired, reused, or even old stock as ‘reloved’ or vintage is a fantastic way to create consumer desire and a brilliant way to approach sustainability.

That’s a wrap: Selfridges in Birmingham clad building exterior
Selfridges in Birmingham has cladded its already striking store exterior with a huge work of art. Local artist, Osman Yousefzada, was commissioned to create the work that stands at 38 metres high by 250 metres long and weighing in 5 tonnes. The cladding is in place while the retailer removes and cleans the 15,000 silver discs that usually adorn the façade. Insultation will be added before reinstalling the discs in time for the Commonwealth Games that start in Birmingham next year. A stunning approach and bold approach to refreshing their enormous exterior.

A little bit local: Aldi Australia launches Corner Store concept in Sydney
Aldi in Australia has launched a vibrant new small format concept called Corner Store. This format is smaller than typical Aldi stores, aiming to provide a more localised offering in urban settings. The project’s focus is on renovating existing buildings, rather than bespoke construction, alongside using sustainable materials and manufacturing processes. Inside, each store features incredible murals designed by local artists, which is a great way to make each location feel unique and personal to the environment it’s in.

Scan & go: Co-op trials Ubamarket shopping experiences
Co-op are trialling new technology from Ubamarket to simplify their customers’ shopping experience. Ubamarket provides a range of benefits, but perhaps most pertinently their Scan Pay & Go app. From there, customers can access their Magic Shopping List, which guides them around the store for a quicker, easier journey. Plus, they can easily access information about which packaging can and can’t be recycled, along with a summary of the environmental impact   of all purchases. Whilst retailers are often trying to keep their customers in store for longer, Co-op are opting to make the minutes they are there more meaningful.

Any objections?: Selfridges launches pre-loved wedding range
Hot on the heels of obtaining their wedding licence for their Oxford Street store, Selfridges have launched a pre-loved vintage wedding offering called RESELLFRIDGES (which is worth the price of admission in itself). In partnership with Mon Vintage, Bay Garnett, and Jennifer Gibson, Selfridges will showcase the range in the Corner Shop location of their Oxford Street store, as well as online. The range spans wedding dresses and suits right through to rings and accessories; and it’s another fantastic example of reframing sustainability and diversifying your offering.

What the cluck?: KFC opens hotel pop up in Shoreditch
KFC is launching a pop-up hotel in Shoreditch later this month. For 11 days, visitors can book a single night in the House of Harland hotel (named after founder, Colonel Harland Sanders). Features include ’Colonel Mobile’ Cadillac limousine chauffeuring visitors from Kings Cross station and your ‘chick in’ on arrival. The chicken theme knows no bounds, with chick flick movies and a button in each room to press for chicken deliveries. KFC are no strangers to building up brand affinity by offering their fried chicken fanatics a whole host of deliciously creative experiences.

On the road: IKEA tour mobile truck in Hong Kong
IKEA are touring Hong to promote their range of Every Day Low Price products. Their truck won’t be selling products directly (there’s only so many bookcases you can fit in there), but they are showcasing a range of products to inspire shoppers with their affordable household items, as well as offering visitors the chance to play games to win gifts and vouchers to spend in store. With daily locations posted on the IKEA Facebook page, it’s a great way of bringing a store which is usually located well outside of shopping centres and high streets to the people before driving them back to store.

Try it on for size: JD Sport collab with Nike and TikTok
JD Sport are collaborating with sportswear and social giants, Nike and TikTok, to bring the UK’s first virtual shoe try on to life. Working with TikTok’s Creative Lab, JD Sport have developed a 3D augmented reality filter to encourage people to try out the new shoes virtually. Then, if customers share their experience using the hashtag #JDVaporMaxShuffle, they’re automatically entered into a competition to win a year’s supply of Nike footwear. While AR has been used for trying on clothes before, this is a first for shoes in the UK and a great way to get fans engaged with a sought-after product.

High street DIY: B&Q open new store in Wood Green
B&Q have opened a brand-new high street store in Wood Green, north London. Like IKEA’s recent plans to move into more urban environments, B&Q’s new addition is a continuation of their strategy to introduce smaller and more accessible local stores, with a curated range of products. However, trade customers can still benefit from a loading bay at the front of the store, ensuring that bulk collections are still convenient in this new format.

Bitter taste: coffee shop makes sustainable statement
Otto’s Coffee Shop in Sevenoaks, Kent, have made a bold statement about the environmental impact of coffee cups. The owners collected 15,000 coffee cups and scattered them all over their shop floor. Describing it as the ‘Walk of Shame’, customers who requested a takeaway cup had to wade through the mess to collect their coffee, while those who brought their own cup were served at the entrance. A controversial stunt that could risk alienating customers as opposed to changing their habits.

When you say nothing at all: creating shareable social moments
Last week Zara put a digital art installation into the shop window of a New York (you’ve probably seen it doing the rounds on LinkedIn). There’s no mention of it on Zara’s social channels and the window itself doesn’t seem to feature an obvious call to action. Instead, it’s inherent shareability encourages passersby to capture and share the window themselves. Whether it’s a big art installation, a photo opportunity in store or a social campaign, you should always consider why anyone would share this, and let your customers do the talking for you.

Thanks for joining us for another round up of insights from the past month. As always, if there’s anything that’s piqued your interest and you’d like to know more, drop us a message! And if you missed last months’ selection of news & views, you can find it here.

See you next time.

Written by Daisy Sollis
August 26, 2021

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