A RETAIL REFRESH
With summer comes unbearable heat. In winter, there’s lots of snow and slush. It’s the transitional seasons that are a bit trickier to spot in the city. As a result, urbanites have become conditioned to look elsewhere for seasonal markers, specifically in the retail realm. Like at the first hint of spring, when pop-up stores move from indoors to the sidewalks and parks. Or samplers are out and about seeking potential shoppers for their products. Even underground, subway fashion posters shed their winter layers in exchange for the hottest spring looks.
Technology, too, marches on to the beat of each season. With a constant stream of innovations, retailers have opportunities to target, disrupt, and connect with spring shoppers like never before. Which, of course, always keeps the Urbanist on its toes.
Dig in, discover. @_The_Urbanist
New Outfit For Urban
Hipsters, rejoice. Urban Outfitters has recently set up shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Unlike its standard brick-and-mortar counterparts, this one is concept to the core. For starters, Urban Outfitters has taken over a massive 4-story warehouse in a central location. This space is huge enough to showcase the likes of 40 plus local designers that include Dusen Dusen and Cold Picnic — Plus, a rotating cast of pop up stores. After building up an appetite shopping, hipsters can even stay around and dine at its restaurant, The Gorbals. This Urban eatery is also fashioned with a rooftop bar for outdoor dining and drinks. Even though Urban Outfitters is going down this big-scale path with all its bells and whistles, it’s still mindful of its target — ensuring everything has that localized, shabby-chic look. Breathe easy, hipsters.
The New Color Code
The land down under is now using technology to spruce up the color category. Australian retailer AS Colour is looking to add more choices to everyone’s mundane black, gray, and white wardrobes. With their new AS Colourmatic interactive window display, shoppers can figure out color recommendations for clothes based on the laws of science. To start, a shopper just steps in front of the camera and the interactive display goes to work rating the outfit in terms of the color scheme and making bold, new color choices. Not only do shoppers get an idea of what colors work best for them, but they also get recommendations of fun garments that best show off their new look. A colorful win for retail and shopper.
Malls Made Easy
The days of wandering aimlessly around the mall with slushy in hand may be coming to a close. Mall owner Klépierre is offering a unique shopping experience to put an end to the uncertainty of finding the right store choices for you. Its been coined the Digital Corridor and was created with partner digital agency, DigitasLBi. Essentially, it’s a giant room with touch screens that offers users the chance to input their needs to find out which stores carry what they’re looking for. Shoppers simply add in characteristics like body type, style, and size. Then, instantly, store inventory recommendations pop up on the screen. From there, shoppers can head to the store for the item, or they can simply add it to a virtual shopping cart to make an online purchase. The technology is just part of the ongoing trend that is helping successfully merge brick & mortar with the digital realm.
Removing Registers From The Equation
Jason Richelson is banking 25 million in investment dollars on the idea that retailers don’t need their tried-and-true registers. His tech startup ShopKeep is looking to bring the iPad payment process to the masses. Basically his company provides an easy way for independent retailers and restaurants to execute point of sale with shoppers. This mobile-payment service enables retailers to do away with register crowds and to generate more on-the-spot payment opportunities. Starting with a handful of Brooklyn retailers in 2008, ShopKeep now processes 1.8 billion dollars in payments a year.
For more urban trends & insights, check out next month’s issue.
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