WHAT’S ON – THE LONDON & EU RETAIL SCENE

As they say in theatreland, the show must go on. Post-Brexit retail will, at least temporarily, benefit from the pound falling by 10%, so let’s get some retail theatre going and put the welcome mat out for the foreign tourists.

 Robot wizards: For inspo on how to create exciting retail theatre check out AlpStories cosmetics store in sunny Zagreb, Croatia, which is tempting visitors with a cute looking robot who mixes the potions to individual skin requirements. Lovingly designed by Brigada, one of the best Southern European retail design agencies, the AlpStories shop has an area for one-to-one consultation sessions. They analyse skin, find out your individual needs and then you can put your feet up and watch the robot make the magic happen. Do go – Zagreb is a gem.

We’re all designers at Uniqlo: Not sci-fi but heritage is the retail weapon of choice for Uniqlo. The brand’s designers have rummaged in the depths of the extensive print library provided by Liberty, creating an exquisite collection of heritage English prints for their summer t-shirts and dress collection. In addition, a fabulous DIY creative t-shirt printing station is drawing visitors in large numbers, as the creative studio on the top floor of their Oxford Street flagship store is inviting customers to let out their inner fashion designer. Once designed, your garment will be ready in 10 minutes while you browse their new tech-lingerie section or inspect the new fabric innovations. Not to be missed!

Selfie with besties to share some fashion love: H&M’s young customers are always sharing their fashion ‘haul’ experiences with friends on social media. So, to invite them to do that with H&M garments, H&M Oxford Circus has invested in an on-site photobooth, creating themed backdrops to visitors’ photo sessions. The coin-operated booth is located near the fitting rooms and staff even encourage the sharing of selfies in clothes that haven’t been bought yet. This “If you can’t beat them, join them” approach is the best response to sending selfies taken in the changing rooms anyway, so making it more spectacular and adding fun backdrops helps to increase the number of shares. Sensible.

Scan fun at Made.com: Whether you’re browsing the market for a new lamp, a bedside table or a total flat re-design, Made.com is a good place to start. No prices are displayed on the furnishings in-store: instead, each customer gets a tablet with an in-built scanner that lets you pick up prices on the screen. That means saving for the brand with re-tagging when items go on sale, but it’s also a great opportunity to offer email service with details of all the looked-up items. The whole process has been thought through with a good balance of data provision, discovery and follow-up in one. We love.

John Lewis nil points: Click & collect accounts for nearly 35% of all fashion and homeware web shopping, but retailers are still treating it as a drab, boring, backroom logistics issue. After hanging around for 15 minutes in John Lewis, in an uninspiring grey room that looked like a cross between a post-room and a GP’s waiting area, we concluded that everyone is missing a massive opportunity. Step in Selfridges and you’ll find yourself in their orchid-filled, fragrance-infused royal treatment of a Click & Collect VIP lounge, with brilliant service, a wonderfully designed waiting area and bright, glamorous signage that spells luxury. Spot on. Everyone else needs to pull their socks up and redesign – now.

Post-Brexit update: One country’s mishap is another’s win. Indie shops had already cut staff by 1.9% in Q2 even before Brexit and it looks like the cuts in retail and start-ups will accelerate, but other EU countries can’t wait to get their hands on our tech-savvy youngsters. Berlin scouts sent recruitment people to London to snatch the hot start-ups and offer them cheap business collab places. The warehouses are good too, with English-speaking staff and great road access to Western and Central Europe.

For your in-store theatre or CX enhancements get in touch with hello@theretailpractice.com