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What’s hot in stores ? Echangeurs New York Chronicle

5 minutes
Bertand Leseigneur, our US Retail Innovation correspondent, analyses the latest pop-up stores and shops that have recently opened in the Big Apple.

We have found that digital screens and terminals are sometimes unexploited by brands when it comes to giving information about a product. However, they are used to their full potential regarding problem areas such as reducing waiting time at the check-out!

At the same time, the tendency to test the product before purchase is strong. Why spend 129 dollars on Google Home if, as a client, I can’t grasp the full extent of this innovation’s advantages?  It’s also a good way for a brand to test the interest of the market in a certain product or service, by favoring use before transaction. The contextualization of the offer in our day to day lives is now also becoming part of our professional sphere. What if working whilst feeling like we were at home became the new norm? Valuing customers is also put into consideration at LuxuryCard where lounge and private services our available to card holders, a way to strengthen customer loyalty and to provide day to day support.


« Hey Google ! » : try before you buy

Google continues to experiment with the opening of pop-up stores which enable potential buyers to grasp the extent of the different possible uses of Google products. After the first pop-up store, dedicated to the Connected Home, Google opened a second (very) temporary store in Chelsea with the purpose of promoting only Google Home. Once again, nothing can be bought but everything can be tested. During the 3 days that the store was open, many potential customers came to see Google Home demos and to test Amazon Echo’s competition.



« Like being at home » with Vitra

On a different note, the brand Vitra, a Suisse furniture designer, opened a pop-up store for a year. The brands idea was to sell office furniture essentially to startups. The store was laid-out like startup offices. To demonstrate the quality and comfort of their products, the Vitra sales and marketing teams work directly from these offices, which reproduces a similar ambiance to the one found whilst working in a startup. The Vitra teams work at desks of different heights, the alcove areas enable employees to work with no visual or noise disturbance and the kitchen is fully equipped. The staff therefor becomes part of the customer experience. And of course, you can buy everything that you see!



Adidas makes something new with something old

The renovation of one of the Adidas stores in New York disappointed. The old store in Soho was well known for its interactive wall that had been developed with Intel.

However, the renovation hasn’t bought anything new to the store apart from a bit more space in the aisles, which is important considering the price per square meter. Only an interactive table has bought a digital and techno touch to the store, which is simply used to consult the catalogue, to add products to the customers list… but it doesn’t allow clients to buy things.  The table is a kind of step backwards from the interactive wall. Have the Adidas teams realized that visitors don’t buy products using this technology ?



Whole Foods tests more fluid waiting…

To avoid queues in the new Whole Foods store that has opened at the heart of the business district of Bryant Park, you can now order you lunch on tablets installed and available in store. No need to wait in line, neither to order nor to pay, everything is done via the tablet. Once you have put in your order and paid with your bank card, you receive a receipt and code which will allow you to collect your meal. You will however, have to wait until your order has been prepared in the kitchen…

wholefood NYC


A lounge for luxury card holders

When bank card providers are looking to reinvent the concept of airport lounges for credit card holders…. The credit card company Luxury Card opened a lounge in the center of Manhattan exclusively reserve for holders of their cards. It’s not a bank; it’s not an invisible lounge in a sky-scraper, but a physical store on Madison Avenue, surrounded by other luxurious shops. Displayed like a lounge, you can; get access to magazines, relax and have a complementary drink, admire art exhibitions or even make to most of the concierge service which will, for example, buy tickets for a concert or show in town.

This lounge marks a new stepping stone for high end services that card providers must offer in order to stand out from competitors, especially when it comes to a demanding clientele!

lounge NYC


A robot in a 3D printing factory

It’s not only the stores in New York that are evolving. Startup ecosystems are growing, and thanks to their inventiveness,   they are defying the limits of productivity. This is the case for Voodoo Manufacturing, a society that set up a factory of 3D printers which lets its clients create their desired objects. The startup recently introduced its project “Skywalker”; a robotic arm to manage the factory and the dozen 3D printers.


A short video (below) illustrates the work carried out by this robot which improves the factories productivity and liberates 10% of Voodoo Manufacturing employees time, letting them concentrate of more intellectual and creative tasks.

Robots are not going to take our work, but make it more enjoyable and creative.



Article published on April 27th 2017 by

US Retail Innovation correspondent for Echangeur


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