Simon, the US’s largest retail landlord, has launched an evolving retail platform that introduce new technologies by established and emerging brands to its consumers across the country.
Called Launchpad by Simon, the concept rolled out during Black Friday across six mall locations in the US, including at Lenox Square in Atlanta and King of Prussia in Philadelphia. Each location features two immersive experiences that welcome customers to experiment with new technologies such as mixed reality and robots and learn the latest trends in the space.
The first activation, called the “720 Degree Experience”, deploys virtual reality using a 720 degree camera which will create HD images and video to either view on a headset or post on social media.
Meanwhile “Youth Tech” incorporates three separate experiences: a robotic dog that responds to verbal commands, a smartphone-enabled gaming console and AR cards that bring animals to life in 4D.
To source the products on display, the property group travelled the world and visited major consumer tech and lifestyle shows such as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), ASD Show, Canton Fair and Hong Kong Gift and Toy Show.
“By working directly with key wholesalers, we have immediate access to new products and concepts,” said Joseph Gerardi, VP of specialty leasing at Simon Properties, explaining that customer feedback is key to understanding demand for new tech products. “Items that sell extremely well will quickly migrate to another location outside of ‘Launchpad.’ If the product does not sell to a satisfactory level during the trial period, we will immediately return it and test the next product on our list.”
Malls are increasingly upping their efforts to provide new, interactive moments at their properties that tap into the consumer need for more experience, and less purchase. Earlier this year, Westfield’s Century City location in Los Angeles launched a theatrical VR experience called “Alien Zoo”, which invited customers to enter an imaginary, virtual world.
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