TAKE A LEAF OUT OF OUR BOOK

This week we wonder: just why do so many people want to go to the gym? In other news, wearables get a bit ‘Lord of the Rings’ and we challenge you to a mustard selfie!

Let’s get physical! Stuck between the gym and the cupcake? Us too. The battle for our bodies is raging with 24-hour no-frills gyms increasing membership by 66%, whilst the top end of the market is tempting clients with luxurious new facilities including cold air showers (!). Sports fashion retail is also making a difference to gyms’ balance sheets, with Brits alone spending 44% more on gym memberships and kit in 2014, while sales of women’s fitness clothing grew by double digits!

Sense-able clothing Ralph Lauren is never one to miss a trend, and sensual but also ‘sense-able’ polo shirts are just the opening shot from the brand’s wearables team. The shirt has woven silver fibres that take your vitals and sync with your smartphone. Next week they’ll be pioneering live video streaming from their New York Fashion Week catwalk show using Periscope – no doubt a live stream of your workout straight from the gym will be next, so shape up people!

Wearables get a bit ‘Lord of the Rings’ Fitness wearables? How about ovulation trackers, ladies? Bellabeat has designed a new wearable for us busy working gals – LEAF is here to save the day! A beautifully designed, jewellery-like object, it can be worn as a clip, a necklace, or attached to a thin leather loop and worn around the wrist. Like other activity trackers, there is an accompanying smartphone app (which apparently needs some work…). Watch the video to get a better idea of what the LEAF can do for you. Whether it will sell in Boots as a medical aid or in Signet as a piece of jewellery is not clear yet, but we like!

Let them eat cake! It’s so typical, but the more we work out, the more hungry we are and Santa Monica gym goers have a particularly forceful temptation to resist. Retail tech can solve the hardest of challenges so, if you’re aching for a cupcake after the midnight (or morning, for that matter) workout, yearn no more as the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM machine is here to help. No need to wait until the bakery opens; just choose your flavour via the touchscreen, pay with a credit card (yes they still have them in LA) and your cupcake pops out in a beautifully designed box. Play hard, eat hard is our motto.

Maille cuts the mustard If you don’t want to succumb to the charms of cupcakes but fancy something delicious, it might be time to explore the super healthy world of mustards. The Mustard Mystery is being unravelled in Maille’s Piccadilly Boutique, where we learned that it contains goodies like selenium and omega fatty acids. Go in, use RFID spoons to tap the lid of your mustard of choice and record your taste preference in the Mustard Cloud – just enter your details on the clicketty old typewriter and your personalised mustard will be ready to go! This was all cooked up by Mr. President, the agency of choice for your in-store tech delights. Nice.

S.O.S. high streets Bonus video – according to the Local Data Company our high street vacancy rate has increased by 24% on last year, and 10,000 UK stores have been empty for over 3 years. To raise awareness of the changes to our streets, an artist is taking a snapshot of the stores and creating a towering display of perfect miniature shops in porcelain. Something to show our grandchildren, who will think it beyond bizarre that in 2015 someone had to actually leave the house to buy things…

This week’s assignment: the first person to send us a Maille selfie on Instagram tagging @ShoppedInternational will get a year’s supply of your Maille’s mustard of choice!