While the UK feels like all change all at once, it’s comforting to know that some things will always be the same.
That’s right, we’re back. Same time, same place with more news, views, and everything in between from the world of retail and beyond.
This time around we take a gander at a few well-placed pop ups, some top-class technology and a shocking revelation into some sustainability claims made in the fashion industry.
High street heroes, Zara, have refreshed their mobile app with a number of new functions that shoppers can use while they’re in store! The app can direct shoppers to the aisle where the product they’re viewing online can be found, allows customers to reserve fitting room space in store and produces QR codes for each purchase to save on printed receipts. This is a brilliant example of seamless integration between online and in store, keeping customers happy and using retail outlets!
UK TV broadcaster, ITV is launching a shoppable TV option for viewers. In partnership with LG, ITV will be allowing viewers to browse and even purchase products directly on their TV screen. The service uses AI technology which is currently embedded in selected LG TVs. Products appearing on screen are tagged, giving viewers the opportunity to browse and purchase when they see something that takes their fancy. The service has launched with Boots and Love Island, demonstrating an amazing step for the world of ecommerce.
US luxury department store, Bloomingdales, will be launching their first small format store in August called ‘Bloomies’. Located in Fairfax, Virginia, the 22,000 sq ft space will be carefully curated to offer fashion, and health & beauty products including both established brands and emerging labels. As well as just being a smaller store, it will offer additional newly evolved services including kerbside pick up, click & collect, and tech-enabled changing rooms. Whilst, in recent weeks, we’ve seen retail giant flagship stores open, it’s interesting to see Bloomingdales experimenting with a smaller format option.
Ralph Lauren have opened a temporary stored called Ralph Lauren Ginza in a luxury area of Tokyo. The two-floor store includes an area to browse and buy iconic polo shirts, alongside a CYO Custom Shop personalisation space where customers can create their own unique version. In addition, a limited-edition print, unique to the Ginza store, will be available. Whilst Ralph Lauren already have a series of worldwide stores, their pop-up store is giving customers a new reason to visit in the form of a limited and personalised brand experience.
The Changing Markets Foundation have published a detailed report looking at sustainable claims made by a range of leading UK and European fashion brands. The report considers the usage and production of synthetic materials and how brands make sustainable claims. Shockingly, it concluded that 60% of environmental claims could be classed as unsubstantiated and misleading. Whilst this report is specific to the fashion sector, it’s imperative for all brands to avoid greenwashing by being open and honest with their sustainability claims, even if it means admitting their shortcomings. Don’t overclaim, don’t distract, and definitely don’t deceive.
The popular dating app, Bumble, is moving off the screen and into reality by opening a café and wine bar in Soho, New York. The Bumble Brew will first open for breakfast, with staged openings on consecutive weeks for lunch and dinner bookings as well. The bar was originally planned for 2019, but after 18 months of on and off isolation, there’s more call for it now than ever. Bringing the experience to life in a physical space will be fantastic for brand affinity and loyalty (depending on how the dates go), and you can just imagine how good it will be for social content!
In the latest evolution of Burberry’s takeover of global landscapes, a larger-than-life Olympia bag was sailed along London’s River Thames at the end of last month. The Olympia began its journey at the Royal Victoria docks and moored at various locations over three days, coasting past iconic London settings such as The Old Royal Naval College, Tower Bridge and City Hall. Not only will this humungous handbag have grabbed attention along the banks of the Thames in the Capital, but its gargantuan nature will have ensured a prime spot on social media feeds across the whole country.
The latest (and maybe greatest) social media giants, TikTok, are taking their offering off the screen and into reality with a 4,000 sq ft experiential concept store in the Westfield London shopping mall. Described as the “ultimate IRL creator experience”, the ‘For You’ house has been designed to allow visitors to learn, create and explore. Set over two floors, there are four experience areas; the Living Room, Kitchen, Dressing Room and Garden, perfectly combining the absurdity of the platform’s content and the completely ordinary environments we enjoy it in.
Heineken have introduced a sustainable events bar to demonstrate how they can reduce emissions when promoting at…motorsport events. Per event, the ‘Greener Bar’ aims to save on average 6,539 kgs of event waste, 5,335-kilowatt hours of energy, 21,128 kgs of CO2e emissions and 25,108 litres of water thanks to its fallen tree structure, kinetic-powered chillers, and soil ballasts, saving over 4,000 litres of water. Brands that are committed to sustainable energy can do it anywhere and it’s always great to see progress without letting perfection get in the way.
Thanks for joining us for another round up of insights from the past month. 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 Jack Glasscock
July 29, 2021