Physical stores are adapting to the digital consumer

How to serve a customer that want the convenience of online shopping while still wanting the human touch of the offline experience? That is the number one question for brick and mortar stores these days.
According to The Current Daily, London’s Westfield shopping mall just made an attempt to steer in that direction with its AI powered pop-up store. AI provides data on what’s currently trending online – and every morning staff will stock the physical pop-up store with those items. The idea is to give customers the opportunity to experience the items live and really find out if they are right for them. The Trending Store, as it is called, will open on July 3.
Meanwhile overseas, American department stores Kohl’s and Nordstrom are adapting to  new consumer behavior by offering services and not just products. Kohl’s have partnered up with Amazon to allow customers to return products purchased online, in their physical store. Nordstrom on their hand have opened several smaller Local stores where they provide online-order pickup, gift wrapping and other services while not carrying any inventory, Digiday reports. 

Mysterious fashion tech-rumors about H&M

H&M stock is plummeting, but are perhaps other things cooking at the Swedish multinational clothing retailer…? Well, according to the site Influencive a secret fashion tech project is brewing at the budget clothing chain. An unnamed ”credible source” was recently invited to their new technology lab in Los Angeles to witness the new project which is described as ”probably the strongest vision I’ve ever seen of what fashion will look like in the future”. All incredibly vague of course and most likely meant to be, in order to create maximum buzz for a company in great need to get their online shopping in tune with today’s customer needs. The source in question brought one thing with them after this mysterious meeting though: a website address containing nothing more than lifestyle pictures in the spirit of H&M. Want to try to interpret some kind of hidden message in to them? Go to

Toronto event on future retail: when will Sweden follow?

I know, I tend to go on quite a lot about the future of retail these days, but hey, a lot is happening in that area right now. And too little here in Sweden I might add. On May 2nd, the city of Toronto and number of fashion oriented organizations and businesses, are holding a joint event in Toronto about the future of retail. And they are right to do it, because the boundaries between our digital and physical lives are blurring and that goes for retail as well with stores becoming more digitally friendly, for instance in how Augmented Reality is moving into dressing rooms. The Toronto event is just the kind of thing I would like to see happening in Sweden right now. But the problem is I just can’t hear anyone even talking about this right now. Why is that? I think it’s about time to start this conversation.

Photo: Rebecca Minkoff smart dressing room.


Swedish School of Textiles starts teaching digital trade

Shopping in the physical world is definitely going more and more digital. Rebecca Minkoff installed smart mirrors in the changing rooms of her flagship store a good while ago to make try-ons easier, and by fall 2015 Zara had done something similar by providing ipads in theirs. Now The Swedish School of Textiles in Borås has added the masters course Management of digital trade to their curriculum. The course is intended for students with a bachelor in business administration and the idea is to create an understanding not only for online trade but also how trade in physical stores is starting to change with these digital in store-solutions.

AR takes online shopping to the next level

An Augmented Reality app might soon bring us one step closer to online shopping that doesn’t result in as many returns. The app, which is a collaboration between GAP, Google and Avametrics and will launch later this month, is simple: You just choose one of five different body types, then fill in your measurements like bust, weight and height. Based on that information the app creates an avatar that you can use to try on different items. This way you can compare easily between sizes and see the way the fabrics drapes and stretches.
Of course you can also twist the avatar around, so you can see what it looks like in the back and from the sides as well. Judging by the demonstration video it dosen’t take into consideration variations in how narrow shoulders you have, or the actual length of your legs or arms, which of course aren’t the same in every individual of the same height and weight. But still, it offers a much greater possibility to avoid sartorial disappointments. Curious? See for yourself in this demo video.