THE NORMANS ARE COMING, AND THEY MEAN BUSINESS

THE NORMAN CONQUEST Taking Europe in its stride, Australian retailer Harvey Norman’s new store in Swords, Ireland, is vibrant, colourful, and easy to access and navigate. It also features a full cooking demonstration area, a Carphone Warehouse shop-in-shop and Ireland’s first Wi-Fi washing machine. Tech love and innovation are the name of the retail game. Got that? Read more (Evoke)

 

DISNEY PROFITS FROM MAGIC Disney’s third quarter results (28 June) show that MagicBands are a success. Yes, consumers like wearable payment systems – as long as they’re paired with loyalty schemes and other useful functions. Some shopping malls hope to combine them with iBeacons to send offers from individual stores. If it’s cashless, it gets my vote. Read more (Payments Source)

 

SHUT UP IN THE BACK SEAT Fed up with bored kids pulverising each other on long car journeys? Distract the little monsters with Car Wi-Fi from EE. Music, video, online games, shopping for the teenagers – all for £49.99 when you top up £10 on pay as you go. A bit pricey and not as fast as EE claims. Is this the end for ‘are we there yet?’ Read more (EE)

 

FIT AS A FITLE Kickstarter-funded 3D fitting room Fitle (fit + style) claims to be accurate 99 per cent of the time. Just four iPhone snaps of yourself at different angles and there you have it – customised 3D avatar, style selection based on size and past choices, and a virtual closet to hang them in. Gratuitous nudity of pretty avatars a bonus. Read more (TechCrunch)

 

SURF’S UP FOR WEARABLES Next time you hit the beach, strap on Rip Curl’s SearchGPS waterproof, a wave-counting watch for surfers. It’s easy to navigate and boasts seriously impressive battery life. Out in October at $400. ‘Keep it simple and they will come’ is the wearables mantra. Read more (Engadget)

 

NORMAL HEARING RESTORED  Ill-fitting ear buds constantly falling out? Frustration over. Just snap both ears with Normal’s app and precisely tailored 3D printed buds are on their way within hours. $199 upwards. Bespoke 3D printing is here, retail. Time to up your offering. Read more (Fast Co. Design)

 

SWEET TOOTH TRUTH IS OUT THERE Cupcakes, brownies and French fries, out. Fruit cups, granola and baked potatoes, in. And that’s federal law in schools in dozens of US states as the country finally wakes up to the reality of sugar peddling and childhood obesity. Psst, pepsi, going lower case won’t keep you off the radar. Awareness is growing. Read more (The Wall Street Journal)

 

BACK TO THE FUTURE FOR RETAIL In the UK, near London’s Olympic Park, fans dressed as their favourite characters mingled with actors playing out scenes from Back To The Future. As shoppers increasingly head online, events retailing such as Secret Cinema, with theme gifts aplenty to snap up, could be the key to a retail fightback. Read more (The Guardian)

 

WAITROSE GETS PERSONAL Mighty UK supermarket retailer Waitrose is piloting iBeacons at its concept store in Swindon. Beacons at the door recognise customers. Others around the store push out personalised messages and discount offers. App needed to opt in. Read more (Marketing Week)

 

STEINHAFEL OFF TARGET Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel has stepped down following last year’s massive data breach in the US due, possibly, to under-investment in security. Oddly, despite its own huge breach, UK shoe retailer Office is preparing for an initial public offering of £300m. Invest in your online security and I might buy some shares. Read more (Forbes)