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Swarovski celebrates the holidays with sparkle-themed activations

Swarovski's "Sparkling Box
Swarovski’s “Sparkling Box” in Covent Garden

Swarovski is launching a host of interactive experiences in the UK, hoping to spread delight in the run-up to Christmas.

The “Sparkling Box” activation, which popped up at London’s Covent Garden area last week, features a giant box where each façade offers a different digitally-enabled experience for passersby. It includes a GIF photobooth encouraging customers to take a photo and share on social media;  an interactive wall featuring a virtual snowscape that showers visitors in digital snowflakes; a video showing the jewelry brand’s Christmas advert; and a guide for Swarovski’s must-have gifts for the festive season.

The box is set to tour the UK over the coming weeks, appearing in Manchester next, followed by Glasgow and Birmingham.

In keeping with the sparkle theme, Swarovski is also set to launch “Sparkle Street” at London’s Westfield White City mall location, which will feature a Christmas tree accompanied by digital advertising, creating a festive landscape for visitors to take pictures in front of that will then be shown on a large screen opposite the installation.

Lastly, the brand is also teaming up with a team of black cab drivers in the city, who will be handing out Swarovski gifts to lucky passengers throughout December. 

Brands are increasingly diversifying the way they celebrate special events throughout the year with activations that aim to surprise & delight unassuming shoppers. Last week, Harvey Nichols visited London offices with a very special musical performance, while allowing consumers to buy the festive clothes the choir was wearing on the day directly on Instagram.

Are you thinking innovatively enough in your brand messaging? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and 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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Editor's pick Retail

Heist opens first physical store, inspired by e-commerce

Heist Studios
Heist Studios

Heist Studios is opening its first temporary brick and mortar space in London, and it’s taking its cues from how customers have shopped online to do so.

Since launching in 2015, the direct-to-consumer (DTC) hosiery brand has held its community at the heart of everything it does – from its R&D process to advertising campaigns. With the launch of its first ever physical space, called the DemoStudio, it is taking learnings from online into the real world. For example, store associates will be trained by Heist’s existing online customer service team, who has been interacting with shoppers since the beginning.

“Until now, Heist has only ever existed online,” said Joanna Bell, head of retail for the brand. “When we made the decision to open a store, we had to ask ourselves, what does Heist look like in person? How do our brand, values and offering translate?”

Excelling in customer service is an overarching characteristic many successful DTC brands have. For this store, customers will also be able to try-before-they-buy, which is a feature already offered on its site, and a hosiery industry first. Similarly most other DTC brands, from mattresses to luggage, offer a ‘100 day guarantee or your money back’ scheme to encourage customers to take the plunge and buy from a new player in the industry.

At the DemoStudio, unwanted tights from the try-before-you-buy experience will be donated to Smart Works, a charity that provides interview clothing and coaching to long-term unemployed women hoping to enter the workplace. Customers will also be able to drop off any interview-ready clothing donations in-store. The brand is encouraging the activity on its Instagram page, where it gives customers tips on what clothing is appropriate to donate.

Heist Studios
Heist Studios

The Heist DemoStudio will be open from September 8th until January 4th in the Seven Dials area of Covent Garden in London, which is also where luggage brand Away opened its first ever international store last week. As retail experts and the media declare the death of the high street, the opening of two DTC stores in the same neighborhood is an indication that reports may often be exaggerated.

“The highstreet is not dying. Brands that fail to evolve are,” adds Bell. “We see an exciting future on the high street for brands to grow stronger by bringing the best of both online and offline worlds together to improve customer experience.”

Earlier this summer, we also spoke to Jen Rubio, president and co-founder of Away, for TheCurrent Innovators podcast, where she talked about the industry’s radical shift in physical retail. As legacy brands and mega stores shutter, the real estate industry is increasingly opening up to the idea of new players who often enter the field by hosting pop-ups to measure demand – which is part of the strategy for both Away and Heist – to then launch permanent brick and mortar spaces thereafter.

Also previously featured on the podcast is Toby Darbyshire, CEO of Heist Studios, who spoke about the importance of community and inclusivity when innovating in tights.

How are you thinking about retail innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so.TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and 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.

Categories
business digital snippets e-commerce mobile social media technology

What you missed: personalised retail, AR in Covent Garden, what went wrong for Nasty Gal

augmented reality
Augmented reality in Covent Garden

As we move ever closer to the end of the year, there are lots of forward-looking stories coming out, speculating around what the future of the industry might look like. Perhaps unsurprisingly, personalisation and machine learning are popping up time and again. A must-read this week is the perspective from Benedict Evans on what sensors in cameras everywhere means for data, retail, fashion trends and more.

Also worth taking a look at is the augmented reality that’s taken over Covent Garden, how adidas is taking inspiration from Uber in its latest m-commerce app, and insights on the rise and fall of both Nasty Gal and Karmaloop.

Don’t forget our Snapchat Masterclass takes place in London tomorrow (November 22) – just three tickets left for anyone looking to take advantage of our last minute 20% off offer using code “community”.


TOP STORIES
  • Sir Stuart Rose, chairman of Dressipi: The next revolution in retail is data-based, personalised services, and the UK is at the vanguard [City AM]
  • ForerunnerVC on tailoring investments to the new reality of retail [Medium]
  • Covent Garden becomes world’s first augmented reality shopping destination [The Industry]
  • How Adidas’ m-commerce app takes inspiration from Uber to go beyond influencers [The Drum]
  • Benedict Evans on cameras, e-commerce and machine learning [Benedict Evans]

BUSINESS
  • Nasty Gal: What went wrong? [BoF]
  • What the hell happened to Karmaloop? The rise and record-breaking fall of the pioneering e-commerce clothing site [Complex]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • What WeChat teaches about the future of social commerce [AdAge]
  • How 5 brands are testing Instagram’s new shopping feature [Glossy]
  • 6 examples of how marketers are using Snap Inc’s Spectacles [AdWeek]
  • Snapchat parent files for $25 billion IPO [WSJ]

RETAIL
  • WAH Nails to open “salon of the future” in Soho [The Industry]
  • How predictive AI will change shopping [HBR]
  • The Marks & Spencer brand needs an experiential makeover to win back consumers [The Drum]
  • How luxury retailers are navigating Black Friday [Glossy]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Apple considers wearables expansion with digital glasses [Bloomberg]
  • Reebok brings jobs to America, along with 3D printing innovation [BrandChannel]
  • Virtual reality takes fans inside the world of watches [NY Times]
  • 11 exciting new materials designers should watch [Co.Design]

UPCOMING EVENTS
Categories
Editor's pick social media

Marc Jacobs launches digital-themed fragrance pop-ups in London

Daisy Dream Capsule

Marc Jacobs is sparing no effort to promote its fragrances in London at present. The all-new Daisy Dream scent has been supported by both an online competition and an offline interactive Dream Room, while the Daisy fragrance theme at large will play host to a pop-up Tweet Shop in Covent Garden later this week.

The online Daisy Dream Capsule works like this: users can choose four images out of a selection on the dedicated website. These are then added into a square frame that carries the hashtag #MJDaisyDream. The resulting collage, which slightly resembles a polaroid, represents the ‘dream capsule’. After entering one’s country, name and email, the capsule can be submitted and shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Tumblr.

An intermediary step involves the opportunity to opt in to a competition, of which the grand prize is a three-day trip to New York City that includes a £500 shopping spree.

The Dream Room (as below) that was open in London’s Westfield until July 30 with the help of Fuse Sport & Entertainment and ClinkClink, served as an offline extension of the Dream Capsule website. Set in the atrium of the shopping centre, it was designed to fully immerse consumers into the ‘Dream’. Shoppers were able to upload their Dream Capsule directly from the space via iPads and were offered souvenirs of the experience in the form of cloud-shaped cookies and photos.

MJ Dream Room

The second campaign, a pop-up Tweet Shop, will open its doors in London for the first time on Friday August 15 until Sunday August 17, at 4 East Piazza, Covent Garden. As per the teaser below, shoppers will be able to purchase items with social currency by using the hashtag #MJDaisyChain – no card or cash accepted. The more creative effort they put into their post – from a simple text through to an image, or even a Vine video – will lead to greater prizes, including the chance to win a Marc Jacobs handbag each day.

The space will also feature Daisy-themed artwork by Langley Fox, a Marc Jacobs nail bar, as well as a live Daisy photo booth and Vine booth.

This is not a new concept for Marc Jacobs; the brand opened a Tweet Shop in New York back in February to mark New York Fashion Week. Like the London version (already), this launch was preceded by an enormous amount of press coverage and hype ahead of opening.

The premise in reality, is actually a very simple and effective way to build social engagement while simultaneously ensuring a following around a pop-up physical space. In fact the locations in which both campaigns have been executed were well thought-out. Westfield and Covent Garden not only enjoy exceptionally high footfall, but are prime areas for tourists – the latter especially is becoming increasingly known as a go-to destination for beauty retail, following the launch of dedicated boutiques from the likes of Burberry and Chanel.