Digital highlights on Regent Street and exciting new store concepts all over the city – London has a lot to offer in terms of digital retail. Find out about the best spots and whether digital in-store applications are the future in our expert interview with retail design expert Hannah Sondermann and digital signage specialist Caroline Zöller.
WHY IS LONDON CONSIDERED EUROPE’S DIGITAL RETAIL CAPITAL?
Hannah Sondermann: London has always been a testing ground for large brands and design offices, where shoppers could enjoy innovative store concepts. In recent years, London stores have also sprouted wonderful digital installations and applications. The exuberant melting pot is simply a perfect place for these kinds of projects. You can easily pass several hours just exploring digital installations in the flagship stores of Regent Street. Other major cities, including Paris and Milan, are much more rooted in conventional retail traditions and have only recently begun catching up.
WHAT ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS ON REGENT STREET?
Caroline Zöller: Take, for instance, Burberry. Pictures of their flagship store with its giant video wall went around the world. The seamless integration of digital signage into Burberry’s store design is impressive. It seems completely natural. You’ll hardly notice some of the screens when you walk through the store.
This May, a new Tommy Hilfiger store is opening on Regent Street, which will certainly be worth a visit. The brand has been a digital pioneer for years, as we can tell by the concept of their digital showroom for the b2b sector.
We look forward to seeing how Tommy Hilfiger will bring these concepts to consumers. In addition to common features, such as tablets in fitting rooms for taking selfies, we can expect a paradigm shift in the way customers access the online store.
Hannah Sondermann: Levi’s is another excellent example of integrating digital components into the store.
Caroline Zöller: Hollister is taking another path. Their screens cover the entire storefront, drawing attention to the store.
Hannah Sondermann: But a detour through the side streets is also worthwhile!
WHAT CAN WE FIND THERE?
Caroline Zöller: One interesting example is Pro:direct, a sporting goods store that attracted a lot of attention as early as September 2014 for their digital concept. Their ultra-HD touchscreens and large display screens draw visitors into the world of football in a very impressive manner.
But even fields that are not as highly digitized as the world of sports are using digital installations. The sustainable fashion brand Toms is an excellent example with their large video wall that informs customers about the origins and manufacturing of the shoes.
Other districts are also worth a visit; take Made in Covent Garden. Here is a furniture online retailer that also has physical stores and a great on-site digital strategy. But we don’t want to give it all away – join us on a retail tour!
ARE DIGITAL CONCEPTS THE FUTURE?
Caroline Zöller: There will always be both. It can be astonishing with how much restraint digitization is used in some store concepts. You primarily see it in flagship stores such as the new one created by Lego, where a host of digital features awaits – including a digital portrait made of Lego pieces and an augmented reality feature that shows the sets assembled and in action.
Hannah Sondermann: We noticed that existing projects are constantly being modified and improved. At Audi City in Berlin, they removed the Kinect functionality from their gigantic Power Wall, because it simply was not used enough by the customers.
DO YOU HAVE A DIGITAL INSIDER TIP?
Caroline Zöller: Check out Westfield Shopping Centre if you want to see many exciting concepts in one place. And of course, the Made Showroom we mentioned before is a must-see.
NOW THAT WE ARE FACING BREXIT – WHICH CITY WILL BE THE NEW EU CAPITAL OF DIGITAL RETAIL CONCEPTS?
Hannah Sondermann: Berlin is an obvious candidate. It can easily keep up!
The interview was conducted by Sophie Klöcker.
Between 19 and 21 September 2017, Paris Retail Week will once again showcase French Expertise and will be the only event in Europe which addresses the omni-channel problems associated with 360° retail. This third edition will bring together in a single event E-Commerce Paris, Europe’s biggest ross-channel event and Digital(in)Store, the leading trade show devoted to the digitisation of points of sale and distribution. Take advantage of this event dedicated to 360° retail uniting the entire community of on- and offline retail for an optimal vision of current retail issues!
To register as a visitor click here Free online registration until September 18th,2017 Registration at the event: 50 Euros incl. VAT