Spectacles
TECHNOLOGY

Report: Messaging app revisits pop-up strategy

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Less than a month after closing its New York City pop-up store, Snap is back in the brick-and-mortar game.

Snap, the social media company formerly known as Snapchat, opened a temporary store on the boardwalk in Venice, California, near its Los Angeles headquarters, according to TechCrunch.

The temporary store, which Snap plans to operate for the next several weeks, will enable customers to purchase its signature “camera sunglasses” via its Snapbot kiosks rather than human salespeople, the report said.

Shoppers can also purchase the whimsical specs via Snap’s newly launched e-retailing site, Spectacles.com.

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TECHNOLOGY

Specialty retailer in name change, new store banner and hospitality deal

BY Marianne Wilson

There’s a lot going on at the company formerly known as Quiksilver.

In a new phase of its turnaround, the company has changed its name to Boardriders, a name designed to reflect the company’s portfolio of action sports brands — Quiksilver, ROXY, and DC Shoes — which are unified by the boardriding culture and heritage.

In addition to the name change, the company will open its first Boardriders store in the Americas region in fall 2017, in Malibu, California. It also has signed a deal for Quiksilver and Roxy to integrate their brands into Accor Hotels’ new millennial-targeted Jo and Joe hospitality concept.

“The renaming of our company signifies the beginning of a new day at Boardriders,” said Pierre Agnes, CEO, Boardriders.

“Our teams around the world have been building our resurgence brick-by-brick. Their passion and tireless execution, along with the loyalty of our customers, suppliers, and partners, has allowed us to complete the restructuring phase of our turnaround and to begin shifting our focus to growth.”

In February 2016, the company’s U.S. entity emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization under the ownership of Oaktree Capital Management. It launched an aggressive turnaround program that included right-sizing its cost structure, re-engineering its entire global development engine, streamlining distribution, and reducing excess inventory along with other moves.

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TECHNOLOGY

Study: Digitally native Gen Z still prefers to shop in-store

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Generation Z is called the mobile-first generation. However, their preference for shopping in physical stores presents new opportunities for retailers.

That’s according to a new report from Euclid Analytics, “Evolution of Retail, 2017 Generation Z Shopper Survey,” which found that 66% of Gen Z prefer to shop in store because they like to see, hold and try on products before buying. Also, 28% want to engage with store associates while shopping, the most of any generation.

The report found that digital touchpoints drive Generation Z to identify the products they want before making an in-store purchase. It is up to physical retailers to balance personalized, digital methods with compelling in-store experiences to engage with these mobile-first customers.

Gen Z, born between the late 1990s and the mid-2000s, is set to hit 2.6 billion by 2020. The first generation to have grown up alongside smart devices, social media networks, and fast-changing consumer messaging platforms. Gen Z shoppers are increasingly motivated by the convenience and personalization found online. However, 53% of Gen Z shoppers shop in retail stores at least once a week, the study said.

Gen Z also visits stores to find, not browse for merchandise. Only 47% of Gen Z shoppers like to browse stores (tied with Baby Boomers for the lowest compared to Millennials and Gen X), and 31% of Gen Z shoppers believe it is hard to find items they are looking for in a physical store (the most of any generation). While this is a challenge for retailers, there is an opportunity for brands willing to explore how to cater to new behaviors and expectations.

One of these opportunities can be gained through personalization, as 26% of Gen Z shoppers expect retailers to offer a more personalized experi-ence based on their shopping habits and preferences, the most of all de-mographics, versus Millennials (22%), Gen X (17%) and Baby Boomers (11%).

Social media is also a motivator, especially Snapchat, the preferred net-work among 44% of Gen Z shoppers shopping in a retail store. Only 16% of Millennial and 5% of Gen X respondents regularly use Snapchat while shopping.

Instagram wins for brand discovery, as 45% rely on the social network to find new cool products, followed by Facebook (40%).

"Retailers should reach out to Generation Z at this early stage to introduce their brands and forge enduring relationships," said Brent Franson, CEO of Euclid Analytics. "Our findings highlight some great opportunities for them to connect with this mobile-first population that's still very much interested in meaningful in-store experiences. Winning their loyalty will mean getting creative about using mobile and social marketing outreach in their physical stores."

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