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Nivea Haus, Berlin

BY CSA STAFF
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Few brands have translated their essence to the physical space as successfully as Nivea does in its Berlin flagship, Nivea Haus (House). Fashioned in the company’s signature ultra-blue and white hues, the store offers shoppers an immersive experience.

The 5,000-sq.-ft. space is open and spacious, with a modern, streamlined look and professional feel, enhanced by clean lines and a lack of clutter. Oversized lifestyle photos drive home the skin-and body-care brand’s positioning. The white-coated sales assistants are friendly and knowledgeable, and add to the store’s inviting vibe.

The approximately 5,000-sq.-ft. space showcases the depth of Nivea’s product assortment. An in-store photo feature allows customers to customize certain products with their own pictures. Shoppers can also walk into a large, globe-shaped interactive kiosk in the center of the store to access personalized beauty and skin information.

More than a store, Nivea House also features an extensive line-up of beauty and spa services, some with no-appointment needed, with the counter and waiting room located in the back of the store.


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Tile Shop offers social media temptation

BY CSA STAFF

Fast-growing flooring retailer The Tile Shop is leveraging social media with a clever contest idea to expose its expanding brand to more customers.

The operator of 92 specialty flooring stores is giving social media users until May 22 to enter its, “Ugliest Kitchen & Bath Contest,” for a change to win $1,000 in free tile and a design consultation. All photo submissions will be eligible for weekly $100 gift card drawings. Homeowners can enter photos of their ugly kitchens and bathrooms to Facebook or Instagram using #thetileshop for a chance to win.

The contest is an inexpensive way for the brand to generate awareness as it pursues aggressive growth this year. The company expects to open 20 stores, remodel 15 to 20 locations and exit 2014 with a total of 108 stores nationwide compared to the current 92 locations. The company’s stores offer a selection of more than 5,000 different types of tiles and natural stone products and are designed to showcase between 30 and 70 bathroom and kitchen vignettes.

"I love to bring our tile to life for customers in our showroom displays, which showcase the most current design styles and trends. Each Tile Shop store features our tile and stone products in a real life setting, so shoppers can experience how they’ll look and feel in their own home,” said Kirsty Froelich, corporate design director for The Tile Shop.

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Mobile surpasses tipping point and then some

BY CSA STAFF

Mobile has been dominating digital conversation for several years now which is why new research regarding smart phones from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) was suprising.

The trade group’s annual Household CE Ownership and Market Potential Study showed that for the first time ownership of smartphones surpassed ownership of basic cell phones as the trend toward a connect lifestyle accelerated. Two-thirds of U.S. households now own smartphones compared to 51% of households who own basic cell phones. The fact that the spread isn’t wider is somewhat surprising given the tremendous growth of Apple and Samsung products in recent years.

The spread between smartphones and basic cell phones is expected to widen further this year, especially as prices for smartphones have declined and Apple is expected to invigorate its fan base later this year with an iPhone 6 product said to have a long awaited larger screen. According to CEA’s research, the top CE products U.S. households plan to purchase this year are smartphones (27%) and over- or on-the-ear headphones (27%). Other top planned purchases include televisions (20%); laptop, notebook or netbook computers (18%); and tablets (16%).

“Building on consecutive years of strong, mobile device adoption, consumers continue to embrace a connected lifestyle in the home and on the go,” said Kevin Tillmann, senior research analyst, market research at CEA. “Consumers are now turning to many of the emerging connected products entering the market today, such as smart watches, connected fitness devices and smart thermostats.”

With large installed bases of mobile and connected devices, households are now beginning to reveal some interest in new tech products, according to CEA. For example, smart watch ownership is currently under 2%, but expected to more than triple by 2015. Similarly, 8% of households expect to own a fitness activity tracker by next year, up from 5% in 2014. Also, ownership of smart thermostats is expected to grow from 3% of households to 5% of households by next year.

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