Retail's next dimension demands attention
With 3D glasses to view window displays and interactive mirrors in changerooms, stores are hoping they can head off the drift to shopping online.
Australian retailer Sportsgirl is taking a futuristic approach to its fashion boutiques with 3D window displays around the country featuring collages created by the British artist Mat Maitland.
Customers can use 3D glasses available in store to view the eye-popping graphics by Maitland, who has produced artwork and campaigns for the likes of Beck, Goldfrapp and Michael Jackson.
"In a challenging retail environment, we are communicating with customers on the go while at the same time delivering a fun and interactive experience," Sportsgirl's chief executive, Elle Roseby, said.
The windows follow Sportsgirl's launch of an interactive mirror that enables a customer to share her experience in the fitting room with her peers online via Twitter and Facebook. People can take a photograph of themselves in their potential new outfit using a reflective digital mirror in the changeroom, then use the mirror's touchscreen to share the photograph on their own Facebook or Twitter page for feedback from their friends.
"Our bricks and mortar stores remain as important to us as our digital strategy," she said. ''It is crucial for us to create as much integration between the two ... providing our customer with the ability to interact with friends online whilst in our stores."
Knitting classes, fine dining restaurants and free styling sessions are among the initiatives on offer in other shops aimed at offering unique experiences that are not available on the internet.
This year, the Corner Shop held free knitting classes at its boutique in the Strand Arcade that were sponsored by the Knitters' Guild of NSW.
Across Pitt Street Mall in Westfield Sydney, Cara&Co boutique has a Flemish restaurant with a menu created by the Michelin-star Belgian chef Dave De Belder.
The restaurant is designed to dovetail with the experiential "five senses" approach to bricks and mortar retail of Cara&Co, owner Rosa Alpert said.