RIDING THE RETAIL REVOLUTION

Retailers are not what they used to be: while historical stores like Harvey Nichols and Selfridges get fancy makeovers, new tech allows shoppers to find their potential purchases already waiting for them in the fitting room. Add live stream cameras and VR rigs to the mix, and off you go – the tech revolution is here.

 Garden and magic wands: Who likes walking around stores, picking up clothes and stumbling into the fitting room with a pile of ‘finds’ to try? One woman decided that this was not a 21st century-worth experience, and created an Internet of Things ‘magic wand’ for customers to point at the clothes of their choice. A message is then sent to staff members who will then select the clothes and make sure they are ready for you to try by the time you get to the fitting room. Add this to u-gestures, a garden of mannequins and more from our favourite retail magician, Seattle-based Hointer founder Nadia Shouraboura (ex-Amazon Logistics Goddess). Watch the video here and get ready to marvel!

The great Harvey Nicks makeover: There’s more magic to be found in the new Harvey Nichols, where the newly appointed boss loves digital. Not satisfied with a massive re-furb of the menswear department, Stacy Cartright (ex-Burberry) has introduced a new digital marketplace to the brand. If you shop online but can’t find the colour of shoes you love, it may be worth a peek on their marketplace for beyond-edit-range. In addition, you get their Digital Wardrobe, in-app Harvey loyalty points and, soon, notifications about free coffee in the shop if the café is a bit quiet. Will she be able to entice the men away from Saville Row?

See and be seen at the Body Studio: It’s low tech but there’s still plenty of magic across the park at Selfridges’ Body Studio – a newly re-designed lingerie section, launched as less-brands-more-yoga on the top floor of the Oxford Street flagship. Harry Potter’s choreographer Wayne McGregor had a hand in creating the enchanting poses of the ‘real women’-inspired model shots. The new PR queen of the team, Tania Foster-Brown, has already put her stamp on the store, creating a buzzy evening with the Vogue crew, Agent Provocateur Creative Director Sarah Shotton, the Helmsley sisters and many other style influencers, who shared their success stories and downed pink cocktails to celebrate the Studio. Millennials were spotted milling around the body-dedicated retail nirvana – there’s nothing like seeing and being seen (and sending Instagram updates with Voguettes!).

From my eyes to yours: Since live events are back on, it wasn’t going to be long before a new wave of live streaming cameras made their way to venues. Mevo is a dedicated camera that lets the host stream the event they’re capturing straight to Facebook. It also has pretty good on-the-fly editing tools and, despite the steep price of $399, it looks like the quality of the output is masses better than with an iPhone. Pre-order here.

Say hello to Mooo(VR)ig: As brands like Dior and Topshop get excited about VR, new rigs and equipment are emerging from Korea. The Mooovrig basic package will set you back $8750, but the commercial demand is such that it will pay for itself. Just make sure you pick cool and breezy locations, as the rig gets hot!

Velorution revolution: Our fundraiser of the week is Velorution – the next big thing when it comes to bike shops. Fostering great people and a great location in central London already, they are raising funds to get their bikes rolling into more shops. Support them here.