19 Oct Retail: Focus on the new concepts stores post-lockdown
Retail is facing huge challenges as an industry. The opening of new concepts stores were forced to pause during the lockdown. However, since the back-to-school season, retailers have decided to take action and we are observing a new wave of stores openings all over the world.
Focus on the last retail concept revealed in the United Kingdom
Levi’s, the denim giant is betting on a new concept that brings sustainability at the centre of the shopping experience with its new concept store called Levi’s Haus on Soho’s Great Marlborough Street.
It is the pioneering concept in Levi’s brand portfolio, and its aim is to be recognised as a sustainable, consumer-friendly brand to address new customer expectations in search of meaning and sustainable purchases.
To achieve this, the concept offers a mix of exclusive products and sustainability-focused experiences through a new brand, Levi’s by Levi’s, made from defective Levi’s products, as well as donations from customers and employees.
To ensure customers’ engagement, the brand also offers a loyalty programme in which customers can receive a discount on old jeans they donate in the store and find out how their old product will be used.
This trend towards new concepts continues abroad
In France, the new concepts launched in September combine innovation and human relations.
The perfect illustration is the new concept of the French leader in sports equipment: Decathlon. Indeed, the retailer has opened its latest concept called Decathlon DX, D for Decathlon, X for experience and exploration.
The 900 m2 concept store is designed to facilitate testing via a life-size marketing laboratory and to offer a new post-lockdown customer experience. This new concept is based on the expertise of the salesperson combined with the power of new technologies (RFID readers, 3D printers, Decathlon Go payment service, etc.) to optimise in-store client journeys.
In the US, the famous retailer Walmart, which has been less affected by the Covid-19 crisis, is trying to recreate a link with its clients by converting its parking into free “Drive-in Movies”. Also, the American retailer announced more than 140 events across the USA such as a Halloween Camp or a Gameday.
More than a shopping destination, Walmart wants to become a real social player, in a context where social links are weakened.
Putting digital at the heart of the customer experience strategy
There are many new initiatives regarding digital tools in the retail industry. Indeed, Lancôme has launched an innovative concept in Singapore: a digital flagship. The idea is to simulate the experience you would find in a physical store. In this new concept, there is a beauty advice tool for the skin based on a selfie that the customer can download from the website. In addition, the brand also uses live shows with local celebrities to attract existing and new visitors.
Due to the growing demand for Christmas products in the UK, the famous retailer John & Lewis has launched its virtual Christmas store. The Oxford Street store has been completely modelled in 3D to allow the consumer to discover the Christmas collections and order online from their sofa.
Now is the time for innovation and reflection about new ways of imagining the customer experience in an era of crisis. Previously, digital customer experiences were simplistic and less engaging for consumers. These days, as in a physical store, the digital experience has to be differentiated to stand out from the competition.
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