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business Podcast product Retail

Stadium Goods: Riding the sneaker culture boom

The success of Stadium Goods comes off the back of unprecedented consumer desire for sneakers and the need for a rich brand experience in which to buy them, says the platform’s co-founder and co-CEO, John McPheters, on the latest episode of the Innovators podcast. 

“For me the light bulb was that demand had never been higher. It was continuously growing, there were more and more people that wanted to buy our products, but there wasn’t a rich experience that consumers could go to to buy that stuff that was trusted, where they knew what they were getting, where they could really hang their hat on the brand experience and the presentation.” he explains.  

As a result he and his partner, Jed Stiller, set about creating a site that is focused on consignment – meaning it resells existing sneaker stock as well as broader streetwear – but it only does so with unworn and authentic styles. That focus on trust is the key, he says.  

Only launched in 2015, the site was acquired by ecommerce marketplace Farfetch in 2018 for $250 million. Very few emerging businesses have seen such rapid growth. It’s now considered such a market leader, it recently announced a partnership with auction house Sotheby’s to sell 100 of the rarest, most coveted sneakers ever produced.  

The site’s explosion aligns with the growth of sneaker culture worldwide. Expected to hit nearly $100bn in global sales by 2024, sneakers are outpacing much of the rest of the industry, including that of handbags. As a result, they have become the new ‘cash cow’ and awareness driver for all manner of brands, not least those in the luxury space, where such products are used as entry to otherwise more aspirational price points. 

In all parts of the market this has resulted in ‘cult’ or ‘it’ sneakers to own as a result. A rare pair of Nikes today can easily sell for as much as those from Gucci or Balenciaga as a result. This means it’s increasingly a race, with some limited edition styles going for $10,000 or more. 

Co-Founder & CEO, Current Global, Liz Bacelar and Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Stadium Goods, John McPheters

In this episode, recorded live at the British Fashion Council’s annual Fashion Forum, we chat to founder John McPheters about the cultural relevance of such products, the evolving role of exclusivity and desire in luxury today, and just how what he’s doing is really about teaching the industry to give up control.

Listen here: Entale | Spotify |  Apple Podcasts | Android Google Podcasts | Stitcher | RSS

Catch up with all of our episodes of the Innovators podcast by the Current Global here. The series is a weekly conversation with visionaries, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s backed by the Current Global, a consultancy transforming how consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more. 

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Blocks business e-commerce mobile technology

Mobile wallets: Really ready for take-off?

birds-taking-off

2015 was the year of the mobile wallet. But despite the fast take-up, the payment method didn’t quite take off. However, the conditions are right for mobile wallets to really take flight this year.

Mobile payments are set to expand fast over the next 12 months with Samsung in the vanguard, especially in the US where it’s market leader, and in China where it will debut next year.

Now I know a lot of people think “Apple” when you talk about mobile payments. That’s just one consequence of Apple’s image as an innovator and it has meant Apple Pay’s rollout in 2015 got A LOT of attention.

But it would be wrong to ignore other players because, a bit like the rise of Android phones compared to the iPhone, they’re often the ones making the tech truly universal rather than just cool.

So, back with Samsung. The Korean tech giant is going to expand its Samsung Pay ‘mobile wallet’ to its lower-priced phones within the next year, according to a Reuters interview with Thomas Ko, global co-general manager of Samsung Pay.

samsung-pay-3

The service debuted in 2015 in South Korea and the US via the company’s newer high-end phones only. But with Samsung offering a huge number of phones across the price range and it being the global smartphone leader, Samsung Pay’s extension to more (and more affordable) phone models will be key in helping to democratise mobile payments.

Samsung will also be helped by the fact that it uses technology already widely used by stores, rather than requiring special equipment like Apple Pay and Android Pay.

Will the expansion mean the US becomes more mobile wallet-friendly? That’s hard to call. So far, it’s one country that has been relatively slow to adopt new payment technology. Not only that, it’s not as if swiping a smartphone to pay is really any easier than swiping a credit/debit card.

But… the situation is changing. And with Samsung already the mobile wallet market leader in the US and planning to add an online payments service (thus competing with current king PayPal), it’s determined to make America sit up and take notice.

The US may not be anywhere near the stage of Sweden, where consumers are increasingly walking around with no cash at all because digital payments are so easy. But, it’s on its way and this new development is one more blow against cash.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday

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data mobile technology Uncategorized

New start-up Tapestry gives shop floor a digital identity, signs Diesel as pilot partner

It goes without saying that mobile is set to play an ever-increasing role in the future of retail – be it for payment, loyalty and rewards, social content or more.

Enter then, Tapestry, a new start-up from the team behind London-based digital agency Guided Collective, that very nicely ties all those things together.

Launched in a pilot partnership with Diesel in the UK, this iPhone and Android app helps to provide shoppers with a 360 degree online-meets-offline experience.

Trialling at Diesel’s Westfield London store until December 21, it allows consumers to curate a collection of all the items they like as they shop by scanning existing barcodes (or by using NFC in enabled Android devices). From there, they can see information about each piece such as size, colour and price, as well as the digital content that surrounds it – expert reviews from bloggers for instance, alongside videos, runway shows and more.

In essence, it’s a physical or real-world bookmarking tool for the fashion industry.

Those bookmark sets – known as Tapestries of course – can then be shared across social networks, but better yet be bought straight from the smartphone too. There’s also the possibility for notifications on things like promotions and rewards.

Referring to itself as a mobile loyalty service, the Tapestry write-up reads: “On the one hand it links content and promotions directly to physical products via a consumer’s mobile. On the other hand it links all physical items in store to the retailer’s ecommerce site, re-shaping the retail experience both in and out of store.”

Simply put, it gives a retailer’s physical inventory a digital identity, something Sam Reid, founder of Tapestry, refers to as “joining up the dots”. Based on a cloud platform, it also does so simply and at scale, he explains. And the app is to be funded on that basis, with retailers paying a subscription fee for the service.

In addition, it gives retailers permission-based real-time access to consumer interests, and therefore data. “The user is saying ‘I’m interested in these shoes, this t-shirt and this dress. Let me know when they’re on sale, or if stock is close to selling out, or if you’ve some interesting content to share,” the Tapestry description explains.

It’s hoped more retailers will follow in Diesel’s footsteps, says Reid, suggesting others are already in talks. This makes the concept all-the-more interesting – rather than just being about one brand’s clothing items consumers might save and explore, it becomes about their entire shopping trip. Imagine being able to recall everything you’ve seen, read reviews around them, and pick and choose which ones you want to buy at a later date. It’d certainly simplify those occasions when you regret something you should have purchased and you can’t find it online.

Another interesting part for the future will be seeing this app develop alongside NFC. With this, consumers only need to tap items (hence the clever Tapestry name) to bring them up on their phone – effortless. As this technology becomes more commonplace across devices, that behaviour is likely to see a huge spike in uptake in the retail space, blurring the digital and physical lines ever more.

It’s worth checking out blogger Liberty London Girl’s exclusive link up with Diesel for the Tapestry launch too. And watching the video demonstrating Tapestry in action, below:

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e-commerce film Uncategorized

Levi’s launches first brand magazine on Flipboard

In a press release for the launch of its autumn/winter 2012/13 ad campaign back in July, Levi’s said it would be revealing the “first-ever shoppable brand magazine” on social app Flipboard. Turns out, it’s finally here…

Referred to as a “social catalogue”, the initiative sees full-page spreads of the denim brand’s Go Forth campaign in nine publications already using the iPhone, iPad and Android platform. In style with the nature of the app, these ads then open to a magazine-like entity that pulls in content from across the Levi’s repertoire. The stories and images it’s sharing on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Google Plus for instance, as well as the videos on its YouTube page, and the product from its new collection, which can be both shopped (in-app) and shared with friends.

“Using the social underpinnings of Flipboard to create a magazine for individual brands is a great new way for advertisers to connect with Flipboard readers,” said Christine Cook, head of revenue at Flipboard. “For Levi’s they are bringing their beautiful, emotional ads to the specific publications they already know and love and expanding the experience using the social media content they are already creating. There’s very little work on the advertisers’ side, making Flipboard a simple way to reach the millions of people reading on mobile devices.”

The nine publications featuring the ads between now and October 31, 2012, are Vanity Fair, Glamour, Details, Elle, Marie Claire, Esquire, ESPN, Fast Company and Rolling Stone.

As reported by AdAge: “Flipboard has long promised to provide publishers with magazine-like advertising that takes advantage of the capabilities of tablets and smartphones.” With its now 20m users, and 3bn monthly “flips” (or page turns), it’s now doing so with integrated m-commerce too. Expect to see more…

Included below too is the most recent Go Forth film from Levi’s, a gutsy call for people who get dressed each morning with purpose.

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Uncategorized

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade app

Macy’s has released an official mobile app for the 85th year of its Thanksgiving Day Parade tomorrow.

Launched by MyCityWay and available on both iOS and Android, it features a route map, participant tracker, guide to the city, wifi hotspot finder and weather forecasts.

It also provides information on tonight’s balloon inflation event, not to mention tips on transportation, restrooms and more.

Find out more about it, here.

 

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technology Uncategorized

French Connection trials Google Goggles in store windows

French Connection has become one of the first brands to experiment with Google’s visual search technology, Google Goggles, in a bid to provide shoppers with quick and easy access to video content from its UK store windows.

Users need only take a photograph of the high-street retailer’s posters with the app to access a host of videos created by the brand, including the autumn/winter 2011/12 campaign (as below), alongside additional exclusives.

The application is integrated with Google search on Android devices and the iPhone. It scans images and then matches them against a library of virtual images, pulling in all relevant search information.

“We are lucky as a brand as we make a lot of content, but sometimes we can’t afford to get it all out there. By snapping a window with your Android or iPhone you can be delivered content that is not only relevant and engaging but is actually quite cool as well,” said William Woodhams, director of marketing and PR at French Connection.

The scheme was launched on September 19, initially as a trial in the retailer’s Westfield Stratford City and Westfield London destinations.