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The pop-up gives shopping a makeover with a fun-filled footprint, exciting new in-store concepts and interactive and celebrity events
Having transformed how consumers see ‘payments’, Klarna the Pay later company has turned its sights on the high street. It aims to show retailers how building a positive ‘play-area’ for buyers can inject new life into bricks and mortar outlets. At the same time, it wants to create new opportunities for pure-play digital brands to get hands-on with customers and create even closer engagement.
Klarna’s first UK all-immersive store will be popping up in London’s Covent Garden*, with a private VIP launch party on 4th June, before throwing its doors open to the public on 5th June 2019 for a week of daily-themed, high-octane fashion and lifestyle events — including free refreshments and entertainment.
The double storey pop-up will showcase an appealing mix of fashion, beauty, sports, interiors and technology and feature brands such as ASOS, Beauty Bay, Cambridge Satchel Company, Finery, Schuh and Swoon. Designed to be a totally visual ‘feast for the eyes’, with quirky, cool and amusing displays.
The Klarna pop-up brings your digital shopping experience to life, featuring many brands and products previously only available online. As you move around the pop-up, you’ll definitely spot retailers you’ve heard of and some that maybe you haven’t. Klarna believes this is part of the joy of shopping; stumbling upon a hidden gem, unearthing a new brand and finding clothes that help you, be you. Alongside a journey of discovery, there will be styling by industry experts, free beauty treatments and exclusive ticketed events in collaboration with some of the UK’s biggest brands. Tickets will be available free of charge in the week prior to the event.
Explaining the pop-up rationale, Luke Griffiths, GM of Klarna UK, says, “Anyone who knows Klarna, knows we like to do things differently. Whilst we believe payments should be smoooth, we also believe the overall shopping experience should be inspiring, so consumers can put together creative looks that are fun and affordable.
“With retailers facing increasing pressure to acquire, retain and convert customers, we wanted to show how creating positive consumer experiences is the real secret to success and building loyalty. Happy and engaged visitors will come back, bring their friends and share their experience through social. We’re delighted to be able to create this unique and collaborative space, bringing together some really cool brands to demonstrate what’s possible with a little imagination and lots of passion!”
*The Klarna Pop-up will be open to the public from 5 – 12 June at 9-11 Shorts Gardens, Covent Garden, WC2H 9AT.
Summit will highlight technologies for creating personalised retail experiences, including AI
At this year’s Digital Signage Summit Europe, more than 30 experts will explore how the Digital Signage and Digital out of Home industry can create better customer experiences.
DSS Europe is the leading European strategy event exploring the business and technology of Digital Signage and Digital-out-of-Home (DooH). Now in its 14th year, it provides a unique mix of keynotes, conference channels, awards and exhibition showcase involving some of the world’s leading digital signage experts, thought leaders and leading technology and service suppliers. It is held in a five-star airport hotel, ensuring a premium environment ideal for both learning and networking.
The theme of this year’s DSS Europe conference is ‘Customer Centricity in the Age of Personalisation, Experiences and AI’. The two-day event will explore tools for creating customer-centric experiences, present best practices in artificial intelligence-powered analytics, and discuss digital trends and drivers in various vertical markets.
DSS Europe takes place on 3-4 July 2019 and returns to the recently extended Hilton Munich Airport, Germany. The event is a joint venture between Integrated Systems Events, producers of the Integrated Systems Europe exhibition, and invidis consulting, a leading German digital signage consultancy.
Florian Rotberg, Managing Director of invidis consulting, commented: “Digital Signage Summit Europe comes at a very exciting time for the industry. At last, solutions are coming on stream that promise to deliver the personalised customer journeys that the industry has been seeking for many years – and deliver them in new and different ways. At the same time, the digital signage value chain continues to evolve as new players enter the market and established players re-examine how they can best add value.”
Mike Blackman, Managing Director of Integrated Systems Events, commented: “The Digital Signage Summit is simply the best business strategy conference out there for Digital Signage and Digital out of Home professionals. Our partners at invidis consulting know the industry better than anyone, so attendees can look forward to two days packed with insights and best practices that will help their businesses to thrive in this rapidly changing market.”
Customer Centricity in the Age of Personalisation, Experiences and AI: Digital concepts for retail customer journeys are increasingly being designed by global agencies and professional service organisations that may struggle with the unique challenges of digital signage. What are the preferred tools for designing customer centric experiences? The Summit will analyse, discuss and compare digital experience platforms and the role of digital signage software.
AI enables integrators and customers to obtain valuable insights from the millions of data points collected by instore sensors. Following years of frustration, the time is ready for analytics and the ‘instore cookie’. DSS Europe will present best practice approaches and the lessons that have been learned, as well as a panel on addressing the concerns of the public about analytics, particularly with regard to privacy and data protection.
Also on the agenda will be sessions on the requirements for outdoor signage, and on consolidation and changes in the digital signage value chain.
Keynote Speakers at DSS Europe are:
Gary Kayye, Co-Founder & Director, THE rAVe Agency; Kayye will unveil new best practices for Digital Signage and DooH agreed by five industry trade associations
Louise Richley, Managing Director, Beyond Digital Solutions; Richley’s keynote is entitled ‘How to Pitch’
Stephen Gottlich, Senior Vice President, Gable; Gottlich will speak about ‘The Convergence of Industries in the Visual Communications World’
From invidis consulting, Florian Rotberg, Managing Director, and Stefan Schieker, Partner, will give keynotes on the factors driving market growth and on the role of digital in customer journeys and personalisation.
More than 400 delegates are expected to attend DSS Europe 2019. Typically, these consist of integrators, hardware and software manufacturers, end customers, agencies, network operators and marketers.
Running parallel to the conference, an exhibition takes place on both days with leading Digital Signage companies showcasing their technologies and solutions: including displays, touch solutions, signage accessories, software and hardware.
On both days, there will be an extensive networking lunch as well as an afternoon break. On 3 July, the day closes with an evening event to which all conference visitors are invited. In addition to launch of the annual ‘invidis Digital Signage Yearbook’, visitors will be able to enjoy first-class catering. The evening event will take place in the nearby Airbräu Munich Airport.
Conference App: Whova
The Whova conference app will be available for use before, during and after DSS Europe. All registered DSS Europe visitors and exhibitors will be automatically added to the Whova app. The app will provide various useful tools, including:
Build Your Own Agenda
Exhibition Area Floorplan
Event Bulletin Board
Communication with Attendees and Exhibitors
Hilton Munich Airport
The five-star Hilton Munich Airport is conveniently located between Terminals 1 and 2 – and as the location for Digital Signage Summit Europe, it’s also the most convenient choice for attendees to stay.
The hotel has a vast, beautiful atrium flooded with natural light and decorated with 20 palm trees. Guests can enjoy the Fit & Fly spa, a 24-hour gym, and an elegant restaurant offering international cuisine. Hilton Munich Airport also boasts excellent transport links, offering easy access to Munich attractions, shopping, and dining in the city centre.
Attendees at Digital Signage Summit Europe will be able to stay in a King Guest Room at the summit venue hotel at a special DSS Europe rate of €199 per night, including breakfast. Bookings can be made online at http://bit.ly/dss-hilton. A credit card will be needed to secure a reservation.
The DSS Europe conference ticket allows access on both days to the conference and exhibition area, as well as to the evening event on 3 July. Included in the conference ticket price are all beverages, lunch on both days and food and beverages at the evening event.
The standard ticket price is €750 (plus VAT).
AVIXA members and CEDIA members can enjoy a 30% discount (ticket price €525 plus VAT).
Birmingham’s first cat café, Kitty Café, opened its doors for the first time in Grand Central earlier this week. The new location will be home to 30 rescue cats and will offer an extensive food and drinks menu including afternoon tea and a selection of cakes, as well as the opportunity for shoppers to relax with some feline friends.
The site is the brand’s third location and the quirky space, designed by a collaboration between CPMG Architects, Trent Shopfitters and an in-house team, features brightly coloured décor and a bespoke cat playground.
Iain Mitchell, UK Commercial Director at Hammerson, said: “Kitty Café brings something fun and truly unique to Grand Central, and I know that it is already proving exceptionally popular with local shoppers. We’re always looking for ways to diversify the mix of brands we have in our destinations, whether that’s by bringing in a new name that people haven’t seen before or introducing a new concept, and Kitty Café is a great example of that.”
Kate Charles-Richards, founder of Kitty Café added: “We have been embraced with open arms by the people of Birmingham, it’s been amazing to have such a warm welcome! We are dedicated to providing a safe space that brings the rescue cats back to full health and happiness, and we truly believe that Kitty Café adds something special to Grand Central whilst also helping our rehabilitated cats find their forever home. We simply can’t think of a better location in this leading city than Grand Central.”
The arrival of Kitty Café follows the recent openings of the first site outside of London for popular German eatery Herman Ze German, and Edinburgh’s favourite pizza brand, @pizza. In the last 18 months, Hammerson has welcomed a number of new F&B brands to the destination, including the likes of Mowgli, Comptoir Libanais, Holy Moly Macaroni, Thai Express and Tasty Plaice.
Monday 20th-Saturday 25th May 2019. Free to attend.
Photo credit: Matt Alexander/PA Wire
Chelsea in Bloom, the world-class alternative floral art show that transforms Chelsea’s most iconic streets with breath-taking floral displays, returns for 2019, with this year’s theme of Under the Sea. Produced by Cadogan, in association with the Royal Horticultural Society, Chelsea in Bloom runs from the 20th-25th May and extends the Chelsea Flower Show out into the local neighbourhood, offering a contemporary floral spectacle for visitors to view for free.
Over 80 shops, restaurants and hotels have confirmed participation, from Sloane Street, Pavilion Road, Duke of York Square, and for the first year, the legendary King’s Road, to celebrate its re-launch in 2019. The wide range of retailers involved span from leading fashion retailers including & Other Stories, Boden, Bulgari, Rag & Bone, Monica Vinader, Essential Antwerp, J Crew, Club Monaco, Nike, BOSS, The White Company, Rixo and Lululemon, as well as restaurants including Hans’ Bar & Grill, Polpo and Rabbit, all interpreting the Under the Sea theme in their own unique way to compete for the coveted award of ‘Best Floral Display’.
Sloane Square will once more become home to an Information Point (to book a free rickshaw ride or walking tour of the area’s highlights), pop-up bar area and stunning central floral installation created by florists ‘All For Love London’ featuring a show-stopping coral reef complete with giant dolphin made from mixed foliage, and an octopus with tentacles of celosia heads and pincushion proteas. Another large-scale floral installation making up the spectacle will be a giant 4m Orca Whale situated on Pavilion Road, which will be created out of tropical leaves jumping out of a base of mixed shades of delphiniums, hydrangeas and frothy gypsophila. Meanwhile, on Duke of York Square, florists ‘Maison de Fleurs’ have created a giant turtle comprised of a mixture of plants, succulents, moss and brightly coloured flowers.
For the first time, Cadogan is working alongside charity partner Plastic Oceans UK, whose vision is to end plastic pollution. For those wishing to take part, a charity point will be in situ on Sloane Square, with an interactive installation to raise funds and awareness.
Each year, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Merit Awards are awarded to participants by RHS judges, in addition to the top awards for ‘Best Floral Display’, ‘Highly Commended’ and ‘Innovation Award’. Voting for ‘People’s Champion’ is decided by the public – voting opens on the Chelsea in Bloom website from Tuesday 21st May (closing at midnight on Thurs 23rd and announced on Friday 24th May).
Over the years, the Chelsea in Bloom competition has become a fixture in London’s summer cultural calendar, attracting audiences from around the globe. This year will be no different, with a record number of participating retailers and an exceptional line up of visually stunning floral displays, all free to view and experience.
Nearest tube stations: Sloane Square and Knightsbridge
Over the years, the UK out of town retail parks has been offering investors an attractive way of connecting the trends that are transforming the high street. Bidwells’ latest analysis indicates retail availability in the Cambridge-Oxford Growth Corridor has doubled over the past two years, with the average availability rate standing at 7.2%.
Although there are significant challenges that retailers across the Cambridge-Oxford Growth Corridor are facing, new operators are absorbing vacated unused space in some locations, with Cambridge seeing the highest level of take-up since 2012.
The shift of a growing proportion of consumer spending undertaken online is clear and has taken its toll on the market. Rents are under pressure as retailer failures release space to the market, with the largest falls in heavy use rents which are down by 14.7% since 2016. However, structural change in another form is also emerging.
In 2018 there was a growing number of activity focused operators take up some of the slack on out of town retail parks. This is illustrated by the letting of over 18,000 sq ft to Gymfinity Kids at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes. While rental readjustments undoubtedly assist such lettings over recent years, research suggests the growth in activity operators is reinforced by consumer change.
This suggests there will be a widespread shift in the occupier base of retail parks in particular, with their ability to accommodate everything from laser tag, DJ accompanied crazy golf to climbing walls and Zombie escape rooms.
For retail parks, the demand for experience spending looks set to stay and are likely to see a broadening range of activities taking vacant retail warehouse space with rent adjustments opening up the market to a broader range of operations. However, Bidwells’ analysis suggests locational differences will emerge, with greater representation of experience occupiers in higher income locations such as the Cambridge-Oxford Arc.
Bidwells’ Research Director Sue Foxley commented into how experimental retail can make the Oxford-Cambridge Arc’s multi-generational consumers happy again.
“We are certainly seeing the combination of both flavours of a structural shift in consumer spending playing out in the Cambridge-Oxford Arc.
“Putting life experiences ahead of buying TVs and new clothes are thought to be the preserve of the millennial generation, armed with both a more enlightened view of what is important and the challenge of limited living space due to the housing crisis.
“But UK baby boomers are also showing a similar pattern of spending, albeit they may not be looking for the same experiences. According to the ONS, 50-74-year-old age group is now spending the most on recreation and culture, in large part due to lower housing costs relative to income.”
To find out more on the Out Of Town Retail Analysis, you can download the research paper here.
Cotton Traders increases mobile conversion rate by 24.8%
One of Britain’s most successful home-grown multi-channel retailers, Cotton Traders, has improved its mobile conversion rate and reduced checkout abandonment with a new ecommerce platform from Astound Commerce, the leading digital commerce agency and systems integrator.
Founded on friendship in 1987, Cotton Traders was set up by two former England rugby captains, Fran Cotton and Steve Smith. During their heyday, playing in Bill Beaumont’s Grand Slam winning side of 1980, broad shoulders were an on-pitch advantage, but made buying everyday clothes difficult. So together, they set out to create casuals to fit all shapes and sizes, with a quality that only gets better with age. The commitment shown on the pitch is clearly evident in Cotton Traders’ pursuit of excellence, quality, style and value.
Although the retailer has over 100 retail locations in the UK, online is becoming increasingly important to Cotton Traders. However, their previous platform and website had limited functionality, and in order for Cotton Trader’s to reach their aspirational goals for international expansion and multichannel capabilities, they partnered with Astound to develop and design a new ecommerce solution, powered by Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
Astound Commerce launched five new sites in just seven months for Cotton Traders during phase one of the project, including sites for the UK, Ireland, Australia, and tailored campaign sites for VIPs. During phase two of the project, an additional US site was completed in August 2018.
A full UX audit was completed by Astound Commerce to inform the design and influence best practice system recommendations. Cotton Traders also needed a scalable platform, due to growth in the UK and overseas. The site architecture was designed to enable features to be scaled across multiple territories with individual adaptations made possible at an individual site level.
The new website now offers an easier and more personalised browsing experience, allowing shoppers to find what they’re looking for more easily by improvements made to faceted filtering and search algorithms. Customers can now also enjoy a speedier checkout process, demonstrated in the 21% decrease in checkout abandonment on the UK site.
Central to the creative process was producing a site that was functional, encompassed Cotton Traders brand values and was visually suitable for their core demographic. The site is now accessible to a wider audience, with website features that allow for important information to be better signposted, creating a smooth and seamless shopping experience for all consumers.
The British retailer’s mobile conversion rate has increased by 24.8% and tablet conversion rate by 12.2%, with the average load time reduced by approximately 30% across all territories, and by device.
Paul Hurst, Head of Digital at Cotton Traders said: ‘With digital becoming increasingly important to the business we were looking for a reliable partner to guide us through the process of re-platforming, but the level of service and speed of delivery from Astound Commerce has gone above and beyond our expectations.”
“Of huge added value was Astound’s unique combination of systems integration expertise and design consultancy, and their creative team did a fantastic job of understanding the spirit of the brand’s demographic. Through our successful relationship with Astound Commerce, we’re excited to see what the future holds,” he concluded.
Astound Commerce UK Managing Director, Terry Hunter, commented: “We’re proud to have helped one of the leading homegrown British brands achieve ongoing success in their multi-channel offering by providing ecommerce sites that will enable them to not only reach their business goals but exceed them. We look forward to continuing our work with the team at Cotton Traders and supporting them on their digital journey.”
Contentsquare and Datawords have announced a strategic partnership to provide their clients and prospects with a solution that combines culturally-relevant digital content with digital user experience (UX) insights to improve customer engagement and revenue around the world.
Today, consumers expect a more personalised experience wherever they are and however they connect. In order for premium brands to stay competitive, it’s vital that they understand and anticipate the unique expectations of customers across borders.
“We are always looking for innovative solutions that immediately help our clients improve their Digital Happiness Index scores and bottom line results,” said Jonathan Cherki, CEO and founder of Contentsquare. “With an increasing number of our clients operating across borders, we are partnering with Datawords to give these multi-nationals another advantage. Now brands can quickly understand how and why their visitor behaviour varies by region and customise local experience to increase business across the board.”
Datawords’ multicultural understanding of the international digital landscape combined with Contentsquare’s leading expert knowledge in user experience will allow digital marketers to unlock the doors of new opportunities with international consumers.
“We are thrilled to announce this new partnership with Contentsquare, a company with which we already share many values and clients in different sectors,” said Alexandre Crazover Co-founder of Datawords. “Together, we will help international brands get a deeper understanding of their customers’ UX all over the world as well as adapt and streamline their digital campaigns to the local tech environment and cultural context.”
River Island has opened a new flagship store at intu Lakeside following owner intu’s multi-million-pound investment to transform the popular shopping destination.
The retailer has doubled the size of its previous store, to 21,000 sq ft, as intu completes work on a £72 million leisure-led extension of the centre which has attracted a range of new brands and is expected to boost footfall by more than 2 million people according to CACI.
Zara opened one of its largest stores in the country there in March and intu Lakeside’s tenants have invested around £9 million on new stores, refits and refurbishments during the first months of 2019 alone. A total of £28 million has been spent over the last two years.
Rebecca Ryman, regional managing director at intu, said: “We’ve invested millions to create even more opportunities for retailers and leisure operators to flourish at what is already one of the country’s most popular shopping destinations.
“More and more brands are investing at intu Lakeside because they know they will perform so well here, with River Island the latest big name to select the centre for one of its largest ever sites.”
Frances Baker, property director at River Island said: “River Island is delighted to have doubled the size of its current retail space at intu Lakeside. The combination of a loyal and high spending customer base, vibrant retail mix and the enhanced leisure offer make it the perfect location to create a new and exciting flagship.”
Capital & Regional, the UK’s leading property REIT for delivering community shopping centres, has reinforced its commitment to supporting local communities by investing into dedicated Family Zones across its portfolio. New Family Zones will be a key part of an investment programme underpinning its business plan to create and manage destinations that respond to the immediate needs of the local population and position the centres at the heart of the communities they serve.
Capital & Regional’s wider merchandising strategy brings family-focused areas, retailers and related activities to the heart of its centres and has already culminated in significant progression. The £2million Family Zone at The Exchange Ilford completed in 2018 is designed to create a complete customer journey targeted at local families, including a new dedicated parent parking zone, parent & baby facilities and a free children’s soft-play area. Its introduction contributed to a 1.4% increase in footfall between 2017 and 2018, far outperforming the national average, and the frequency of visit has increased by 25%. Kidz Zone, a family run children’s clothing business, has seen a YTD sales growth of 16% since its relocation last year, as part of the Family Zone improvement plan.
As a result, the shopping centre attracted The Entertainer, the UK’s largest independent toy store, who has signed a 10-year lease to occupy a 3,499 sq ft unit [325 sq m] within the centre’s Family Zone. A complimentary letting to Costa has also been added to the mix, taking an in-line unit within the Family Zone to increase family dwell time. The store is one of the first to have Costa’s ‘store of the future’ fit-out.
Further commercial uses are currently under negotiation, which will increase the overall offer and are a direct result of the clear investment focus in this area.
Andrew Milner-Walker, Head of Property at The Entertainer commented: “We were so impressed to see The Exchange Ilford’s recent refurbishment and the commitment to creating and supporting a dedicated family zone. All this was instrumental in our decision to choose to open at this location. Capital & Regional has already demonstrated that they understand the needs of our shoppers and have gone a long way towards meeting them before we’ve even opened our doors.”
Following Ilford’s success, a new Family Zone will officially open to the public in The Marlowes Hemel Hempstead at the end of this month, following a £1.6million investment by Capital & Regional. The family area will offer a unique experience for the younger guests, catering for 68% of the guests who bring their children when they visit the centre for shopping.
Lawrence Hutchings, CEO, Capital & Regional commented: “Our investment into vibrant Family Zones aims to create complementary family friendly uses in our shopping centres that aspire to serve the local community in the best way possible. We’re particularly pleased to see the positive changes the family-oriented areas have brought in the Exchange Ilford. The Entertainer’s arrival also demonstrates that our strategy improves the desirability of our centres to retailers and we look forward to delivering similar results in The Marlowes Hemel Hempstead following its family zone opening this month.”
Capital & Regional is the UK’s leading property REIT for delivering community shopping centres tailored to the local community through the creation of dynamic environments. Its eight shopping centres comprise over 900 retail units and attract c. 1.6million shopping visits each week.