GDR NRF Newsletter July 2018

Sephora’s new smaller store format is driven by the omnichannel experience

Beauty retailer Sephora has launched Flash, a small store concept that merges the physical and digital shopping experiences. The store, which is a third of the size of regular Sephora outposts, integrates online sales with the physical location, offering customers the chance to check out in-store and online baskets at the same time.

Customers visiting the store can browse more than 60 best-selling brands and products, which can be purchased and taken home. At the same time they can purchase from the retailer’s full range of merchandise via digital screens.

The connected experience starts when the customer first enters the store and is greeted by a small white Nao robot, which urges them to pick up a card with a barcode. By swiping the card next to a screen, the customer can select merchandise from the online store and add it to a basket, which can be checked out at the physical till at the same time as in-store purchases.

Some items, such as fragrances, are only available as testers. These are equipped with NFC tags that can be scanned to enable digital purchase.

All online purchases can be picked up in-store via a new click-and-collect service, or they can be home-delivered.

Small format Nordstrom Local store focuses on service over stock

US department store chain Nordstrom has developed a new smaller store format that has no physical merchandise.

Described by the brand as a “neighbourhood hub where customers can shop and access Nordstrom services in a convenient, central location,” Nordstrom Locals focus on customer service.

The first store opened in Los Angeles in early October with a 3,000-square-foot footprint, much smaller than the average 140,000-square-foot Nordstrom department store. Customers have access to a range of services including buy online, pick up in store; same-day delivery; alterations and tailoring; Trunk Club services and manicure appointments.

The store’s offering will centre around a personal styling service where customers who have booked a free appointment with a stylist can try on items shipped in advance from across the chain and from Nordstrom.com, according to their needs and preferences. When booking their appointment online or over the phone customers can specify how much time they have, their budget, the occasion they are shopping for, the type of consultation they require and even their preferred stylist.

The space will feature a styling suite and eight dressing rooms surrounding a central meeting area where customers can sit and have a wine, beer, coffee or cold-pressed juice.

In addition, customers will also be able to make returns at Nordstrom Local for purchases from Nordstrom stores, Nordstrom.com and Trunk Club. Alterations and tailoring and order pickup will be conveniently located at the entrance, and items can be hand-delivered to a customer's car via Curbside Pickup.

BrewDog positions its pubs as global clubhouses for the cycling set

Craft beer brand BrewDog has tapped into the rising popularity of cycling by creating a network of riding clubs that are encouraged to use its pubs as their meeting points.

Anyone in the world can start a local club, titled ‘Chapters’, by becoming a ‘Ride Leader’. They can then organise cycling meet-ups via Strava, Facebook or Instagram and use one of the craft brewery’s pubs as their starting and finishing point.

BrewDog co-founder James Watt said: “There has always been a natural crossover between craft beer fans and cycling fans. Both are driven by a passion for exploration, discovering the road less travelled, and are powered by hugely passionate communities. Our fans who are avid cyclists have been using BrewDog bars as unofficial Clubhouses for years. With BrewDog Chain Gang, we wanted to turn it up a gear by helping our community unite their two passions of beer and bikes.”

Members of a Chapter can buy BrewDog branded riding gear and merchandise created by Milltag. If there is no BrewDog pub near a Chapter’s location, the Chain Gang website recommends a non-BrewDog pub that matches the brand’s ethos.

There are currently Chapters live across the UK, Europe and Canada. The first Chain Gang annual ride took place in April 2018.

Auchan launches free co-working space in Lisbon supermarket

Auchan launched its first free co-working space on the second floor of a supermarket in Lisbon.

In the pioneering space, users can enjoy work stations, free Wi-Fi, meeting rooms, privacy booths for phone calls, a vending machine area, a kitchen and a reading area. The meeting rooms can be booked one day in advance.

The opportunity appeared when management realised that the top floor of the supermarket was too big to accommodate the team room, so they decided to branch out to a co-working space for customers.

Store manager Rui Carvalho points out: “We wanted to create a space like this, so it as a very easy decision to make internally. We want a space for networking, where young students could come together. We want to be an active part of the city.”