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5 minutes

Through the many miles travelled in Manhattan and Brooklyn, it appeared that New York retail was still in the transition phase and had not regained its pre-Covid status. Indeed, the range of opening hours is often limited from 11am to 7pm, far from the initial standards of the city that never sleeps. All this is certainly related to the recruitment problems experienced by the retail sector, as mentioned by American trade leaders at the Retail’s Big Show 2023. More generally, it seems that teleworking has changed the game with much less flow, during the week, in the streets of Big Apple. Therefore trade is adapting. Williamsburg’s trendy neighbourhood is becoming the new focal point for brands to test new concepts while being as close as possible to the residents of this growing neighbourhood.

It was in Williamsburg that Showfields opened its new point of sale, after that of Soho. A store that highlights the concept of “Shop in Shop” through the use of the brand’s mobile app and QRCodes arranged in each brand corner to view the stocks and product variations in real time. An efficient and inspiring store thanks to the curation carried out upstream. Customers can regularly discover new brands and products

Also in Brooklyn, the SeedBRKLYN brand is shaking up traditional affiliate programs with a collection of member NFTs. The loyalty card is sent to the blockchain via a limited number of NFT associated with this brand. Customers were able to purchase the first NFTs online a few weeks ago. This NFT allows you to access discounts in the physical and online store, access private sales, meet designers, win gifts or simply be offered a coffee in this hybrid shop. The Brooklyn store is an art gallery, café, bookstore and clothing store. Note that if you buy a t-shirt from the brand, it will come to life thanks to your smartphone and an Instagram filter of augmented reality. The filter allows to glimpse a new world through a kind of porthole projecting in augmented reality. A beautiful use of this technology to develop a real fairytale story around the brand.

As a continuation of the NFTs and the Web3, the Solana store in the Hudson Yards Mall is an excellent example of the use of the physical world to take users/customers to the world of NFTs and cryptocurrencies. In this store, visitors are invited to create a Phantom wallet dedicated to the Solana blockchain. Visitors can then go on a treasure hunt or at least NFTs via a dozen iPads arranged in the shop. If visitors manage to collect 4 NFTs highlighting existing projects on the Solana blockchain, they receive $10 in USDC digital currency. Winners can then use them to buy a small gift or keep them in your wallet to invest later in NFTs. In the end a great marketing activation from Solana.

But as for activations and marketing animations in physical store, it’s hard to do better than Nike on 5th Avenue. Indeed, the store is staged as a real museum around the collection of sneakers of NBA player Lebron James. In the middle of the store advocates a mini basketball court made from interactive screens, even the ground. Visitors are invited to test their ball skills in hand, while trying the brand’s latest basketball shoes. This field is totally interactive and will follow the movements of the players, count the shoots scored in order to give points to the players and give them the chance to win Nike socks, gourdes or a ball for the best.

Le classement individuel apparait sur les écrans géants du magasin. Une mini compétition internationale a même lieu puisque l’écran fait une moyenne des scores des participants en fonction leur pays d’origine. Lors de notre passage la France était en 10 ème position.

Nike is also at the heart of neighborhood life in these other stores that are renowned according to these as with Nike by Harlem or Nike by Williamsburg. The stores showcase local artists and support neighbourhood associations to promote the practice of sport and take children to NBA basketball games in New York.

While in food distribution many only talk about Amazon and its Just Walk Out technology used in Amazon Go or Amazon Fresh signs, Stew Leonard’s in Paramus, New Jersey, remains the most impressive store thanks to its animations set up in the middle of these shelves. Indeed, the store is equipped with several mini shows of automatons that children willingly operate with the help of large push buttons, while parents do the food shopping of the week. A technology far from the fantasies of the metavers but that works and captures the attention of the children, making the races playful for them. Just like at Ikea, at Stew Leonard’s the customer journey is channeled because it’s hard to forget a product on your racing list.

From the web3 to the screens and automatons, the New York retail business is full of imagination to attract consumers at the point of sale and keep them captive.

As an expert in emerging technologies, Nicolas travels to innovation shows around the world to spot and analyse the new trends.
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