STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 10
CHILLIN' IN MILAN
Even in the coldest months of the year, Milan, doesn't see average
temperatures below freezing. And yet, as the so-called "Fashion Capital of
the World," it's an important location for retailers. So when outerwear brand
Woolrich opened a flagship store there, it took winter to the shoppers.
The new store features an Extreme Weather Condition Room, which
features artificial snow and reaches subzero temperatures. (There's also
immersive footage of extreme cold environments to get shoppers in the
right state of mind.)
It's just one phase of experiential shopping in the new store, including
a charging station, espresso lounge and a museum that pays homage to
the brand's signature items. Clothes can be altered or personalized. The
company says the store will change its look constantly and play host to a
number of events.
The customer experience continues to be in high demand - and for Woolrich,
it means getting creative when taking that experience into new places.
GROCERIES THAT COME TO YOU
FORGET AIRPORT LINES:
GO TO THE BEACH INSTEAD
STORES April 2018
One never knows when the craving for carrots might
strike, but when it does, Robomart can deliver. The
self-driving, fully autonomous grocery store on wheels,
introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier
this year, delivers perishables directly to the consumer.
The plan is for grocery stores to license the robots and
platform. In return, the retailer would have access to the
fleet management system for managing orders, routing,
restocking and other operations. Grocers could manually
communicate with customers, store staff and law
enforcement if needed. It also would deliver real-time
sales data and analytics, the company says.
Customers use an app to hail the closest robot. After
it arrives, a door unlocks and cameras monitor what the
customer takes; the customer is then charged accordingly.
The company says one of the biggest barriers to online
grocery is that consumers don't trust someone picking
their bananas and avocados for them. With Robomart,
customers would get the convenience of online delivery
and the control of choosing their own items.
Whether it is the counterpunch to Amazon's march to
grocery domination remains to be seen. The company
will pilot the program in California this summer, assuming
it receives approval from regulators for the robots' selfdriving vehicle aspects.
There is nothing more frustrating than wasting
the last day of a beach vacation fooling with
luggage transfers and long
waits at the airport -
all while the sun is
shining and the
has made the
to reality a
Departure Beach, due to
open this summer in Barbados.
Travelers who book a Virgin Holidays Barbados
vacation can access the beach for a small additional
fee. Virgin will pick them up, send their luggage
to the airport and deliver them to the Departure
Beach. A locker is provided to store any carry-on
bags. Guests can enjoy a drink at the bar or lunch;
if they decide to swim, they'll be provided a beach
towel and a plastic bag to store their wet suit, and
showers ensure they'll head to the airport free of
sand and sunscreen. If they prefer to relax instead
of sunning, an air-conditioned lounge includes
games, plasma screens and free Wi-Fi.
So far, it's only planned for U.K. visitors, but
there is a lesson here for all. Elimination of pain
points at any juncture in the customer journey is
in high demand. Now if only Virgin Holidays could
eliminate the need to return to work the next day.