Retail technology

Selected opens tech-enabled store in Beijing

Selected, part of the Bestseller Fashion Group, has opened a tech-enabled store in Beijing aiming to elevate its image as an aspirational brand in the Chinese market.

The store features smart mirrors in its fitting rooms, pocket-sized screens providing additional product information, as well as a live social media feed.

The technology is meant to impress the Chinese customer, who is already quite adept with connected experiences. For example the magic mirrors in the fitting rooms are equipped with functionalities that allow shoppers to swipe through outfits to find the perfect match. It further allows them to to share their favorites through Chinese social network WeChat.

A selection of “Debrief” screens are otherwise located throughout the store in digestible pocket-sized formats, which allow consumers to access additional product information, education on material composition, as well as styling inspiration.

A live social media feed is shown on a screen behind the checkouts evoking a sense of constant newness for the store’s customers. There are also reported projections and kinetic signage in place.

The concept, dubbed “Future You”, will roll out across a series of Selected’s stores in the Chinese capital.

Jack & Jones and Vero Moda, two further brands in the Bestseller Fashion Group, also experimented with in-store technology in China last year. In two smart stores, located in Shenzhen and Guangzhou, the brands launched facial recognition kiosks that allowed customers, once registered to the Tencent powered technology, to check out using only their faces – without the need for cash or a credit card.

How are you thinking about retail innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. The Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more. 


Chanel offers activity area for kids on exhibition microsite

Hidden alongside the more sophisticated pages of the Culture Chanel microsite – an online accompaniment to the Parisian brand’s current Beijing exhibition – is an interactive area called Kids’ Corner.

Within it sit two classic offline activities for children, translated for the web.

First up is a virual colouring book, which provides users with drawings of seven iconic Chanel items including a tweed jacket, brooch and clutch, and a choice of 36 different shades with which to fill them in with. Each picture is also available to download for printing.

And then there’s a memory game based on flipping over and matching up pairs of cards. Unsurprisingly, the face of each one features another series of classic Chanel symbols such as buttons and a bottle of Chanel No.5 fragrance. The back of each card is stamped with the interlocking Chanel C’s.

As Fashionista said, “we guess [it] is technically for children, but we like it too”, and that’s the interesting part. As gaming has opened up to a far wider audience (71% of females aged 20-49 now play games, according to IGN Entertainment), there’s been an increasing move towards the idea of game mechanics within campaigns, and I believe there’s enormous potential for further application within the fashion industry.

More thoughts to follow, but this piece from a few months back is worth re-reading in the meantime: Gaming as fashion’s jackpot.


Shanghai Tang upgrades China city app

Chinese luxury brand Shanghai Tang has updated its bilingual City Chic application for spring/summer.

The revision features an increased number of must-sees in Beijing and Shanghai including restaurants, hotels, cultural hot spots and shops complete with exclusive offers, location information, images and taxi cards (if you’ve been to China you’ll know how essential these are).

The app, which is compatible with both the iPhone and iPad, is also among the first in China to offer a wish list function, through which users are able to not only order pieces from the spring line but request a store to hold something for them, order a home delivery, or share items with their friends.

There is also a new mini game and news on the latest collections.

The original app was launched in April 2010. Users will continue to have access to The Shanghai Tang Lounge Collection sampler where they can enjoy music from the brand’s own album.

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Burberry live from Beijing

Burberry’s “music, fashion and tech extravaganza” is streaming live from Beijing, now. Expect to see ground-breaking virtual image technology placing live models against animated footage and life-like holograms. Not to mention British band Keane performing for the first time in China.

Watch it here –

Or read about it here – Burberry to host music, fashion, tech extravaganza for Beijing opening

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Burberry to host music, fashion, tech extravaganza for Beijing opening

Burberry's new flagship store in Beijing

Burberry is set to celebrate the opening of its new flagship store in Beijing with its most immersive experience to date, combining music, fashion and technology.

Live-streamed from the Beijing Television Centre on April 13, the event will see ground-breaking virtual image technology placing live models against animated footage and life-like holograms. British band Keane will perform throughout.

A sensory element is also supposed to feature, with rumour of the weather playing a part.

“I love the creativity, vibrancy and history of China with its exciting and dynamic energy and it is a huge privilege to be flying the flag for Britain in the magnificent city of Beijing connecting all of our global communities to celebrate everything Burberry represents today from music, to heritage and innovation,” said chief creative officer Christopher Bailey.

The event will welcome 1,000 VIP guests, but as usual with Burberry, also be live-streamed online and to 50 stores around the world.

At the new Beijing store, a 12,500sq ft space at Sparkle Roll Plaza (as pictured), the extravaganza will be viewable on the giant flat-screen LED video walls.

On Keane’s participation, lead singer Tom Chaplin, said: “I met Christopher Bailey a few years ago. He’s a big fan of Keane and I’m a big fan of what he does for Burberry, so we hit it off. Christopher suggested that we should team up to create an incredible event combining music, new technology, and fashion in one of the world’s most vibrant and exciting cities, Beijing.

“It’ll be our first trip to China, and we hope to put on a show that will surprise and delight the folks of that fascinating and brilliant country.”

He announced the band’s participation in the event through a short video on Facebook, as below: