Sporting goods giant opens its first U.S. store
A new retail experience is giving shoppers — and sports fans — the chance to feel like a professional athlete.
Mizuno, one of the world’s largest specialty sporting goods manufacturers and the official baseball gear partner of the Atlanta Braves, has entered the U.S. retail arena with the opening of The Mizuno Experience Center. It is the first retail store to open at The Battery Atlanta, a 400,000 sq. ft. mixed-use development located just outside the Braves’ new home, Sun Trust Park.
The 3,800-sq.-ft. Experience Center combines a retail store with an array of interactive experiences. The space showcases Mizuno products across multiple sports categories, including baseball, softball volleyball, golf and running, among other sports.
Designed to be an immersive environment, the Experience Center provides a personalized and customized experience. Visitors are engaged through interactive displays using RFID technology and specialized labs for each sport — a move that allows visitors to touch, test and purchase customized gear. Meanwhile, specialized sports labs equipped with simulators, located inside the Experience Center showcase Mizuno's custom-fitting expertise in golf, baseball and softball and running.
"Posed with the task to design a space that focused on the experience first and retail second, forced us to re-think the traditional retail environment to create a unique immersive space for Mizuno. It has delivered beyond all expectations,” said Kevin Kelly, chief marketing officer for integrated retail experience agency Miller Zell.
The center will host a variety of public and private events and professional athlete appearances throughout the year.
Curation comes to fine cuisine in New York City
Time was in New York City that new restaurants sprang up in the ground floors of old brownstones in Midtown or tenement buildings in Greenwich Village and were deemed worthy or not by the demanding standards of Manhattanites. Not so in New York’s newest neighborhood.
Hudson Yards, the 28-acre development rising below the Javits Center and above Chelsea on Manhattan’s West Side will have its eateries chosen by chef Thomas Keller, the winner of several James Beard Foundation awards who is known for The French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley.
Keller has been retained by Hudson Yards developer The Related Companies to mastermind the culinary character of the new nabe in one fell swoop of 12 new restaurants.
“Restaurants are an integral part of the fabric of any neighborhood, and Hudson Yards – in concept, design, and execution – will be an anchor and destination for Manhattan’s West Side,” said Keller.
D&D London, a leading restaurant group in that town, announced last week it would be adding a modern brasserie concept to Kellers’ diner’s dozen.
“It has long been a desire of ours to bring a new flagship restaurant to this amazing city. We spent a lot of time considering where to open and believe that the dynamism and creativity of Hudson Yards makes it the ideal location for us,” said D&D CEO Des Gunewardena.
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Study: Shoppers will share personal data if it benefits them
Despite privacy concerns, consumer will share data with companies if it saves them money or resolves customer service issues faster.
This was according to a recent study conducted by YouGov on behalf of customer experience company |7, which tapped 1,145 U.S. consumers.
Nearly half (43%) of consumers agreed that they would exchange personal data with companies to save money through personalized promotions, discounts or deals, followed by 39% looking for speedier issue resolution.
Off-target messages and privacy concerns proved to be the biggest deterrents for consumers receiving personalized marketing messages, the study reported.
Cost-savings are universally seen across all age groups as the top benefit to sharing personal data — information such as e-mail, age, location, interests, previous purchases, etc. — with millennials' willingness to share data for deals (49%) slightly outranking GenXers (44%) and baby boomers (38%).
Relevancy is the primary reason consumers embrace personalized marketing messages (26%). But off-target messages irritate consumers, with a similar percentage of respondents stating that irrelevancy was on par with invasion of privacy as a major cause of annoyance.
Twenty-nine percent (29%) said irrelevant messages were the leading reason they were bothered by personalized messages. Slightly more than that (32%) cited "it felt like an invasion of privacy" as the top reason they disliked a personalized message.
Privacy concerns ranked high among consumers, with 28% stating, "I don't like it when companies have my information when I don't explicitly provide it,” when asked about their overall feeling towards companies using personalized data.
Almost half of those surveyed (47%) had higher expectations about their customer experience as a direct result of sharing personal information with companies, with age proving to be a significant factor. The younger the respondent, the higher their expectations, with over half (59%) of millennials noting the more data they share the higher the expectations for a better customer experience, followed by GenX (47%) and baby boomers (38%).
While consumers are willing to share more personal data, they are particular about when and why. For example, 22% surveyed are open to sharing personal data after buying a product or service in exchange for an improved level of customer service in the future.
Likewise, 16% would share data post-purchase to receive ongoing information from the company, and 17% only want to share information if they encounter an issue that requires resolution. However, trust continues to be a deterrent to disclosing personal data, with 27% of consumers stating they would not share their information at any point.
When it comes to which industries make the best use of their information, insurance (50%) and financial services companies (48%) use of their personal data to deliver a better experience. These two industries outperformed retail, travel and hospitality, utilities and telecommunications in consumer perception, with the telecom industry receiving the lowest ranking (38%).
"If used correctly, consumer data can play a valuable role in improving the customer experience, but this information should be used wisely to avoid alienating customers," said Scott Horn, chief marketing officer, 7.
"The key to a great customer experience is dependent on companies' ability to understand a consumer's true intent,” he added. “If companies understand precisely what a customer is trying to do and where their interests lie, they can deliver a more personalized interaction that doesn't feel intrusive.”