Thomson’s, Kent, United Kingdom
Travel company Thomson’s has debuted its next-generation travel-store concept, at Bluewater shopping center in Kent, United Kingdom. Designed by 20.20, the format integrates the latest technology combined with great service to enhance the experience of choosing and booking a vacation.
The experience starts on the storefront, which features a giant immersive video wall showcasing vacation content in high definition. Inside the entry, an interactive map and interactive tables entertain customers and help them research vacations. Customers can compile top ten lists, view live weather information, read reviews and view videos of destinations.
Social media feeds are streamed onto the screens to inspire and inform customers and give them a feel of what to expect from their holiday before they book. Further into the space, the “Advice Bar “gives customers the chance to browse content on self-service laptops with staff on hand to answer any questions.
The store is zoned so customers can choose from browsing on their own devices using free WiFi in the pool area or use customer computers at the Advice Bar where staff will be on hand to answer questions.
"We set out to ensure that every visit is a memorable experience, and we’ve succeeded,” said Jon Lee, creative director, 20.20. “Our design approach has been truly seamless. Technology and design are fused in this store like never before. Not as a gimmick, but as part of one brand experience that delivers a superlative holiday buying environment.”
Design: 20.20 Limited, London
ShopperTrak: Retail sales, traffic decreased last week
Chicago — Rough weather last week prevented many last-minute shoppers from getting to the stores to finish up their holiday purchasing. ShopperTrak reported that for the week of Dec. 16 to Dec. 22, GAFO in-store retail sales decreased by 3.1% from the same week last year. Retail brick-and-mortar shopper traffic decreased by 21.2% compared to the same time period in 2012.
"Bad weather throughout the country kept some shoppers away from stores," said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder. "This past week was their final opportunity to complete their holiday shopping before Christmas — and though many did finish making their purchases, retailers did not see as many shoppers as last year."
Despite more markdowns and promotional efforts from retailers, "Super Saturday" (Dec. 21) saw a decrease in retail sales by 0.7% compared to 2012. In-store shopper traffic decreased 18.1% from the same day last year. ShopperTrak predicts after-holiday markdowns to drive robust retail sales and store traffic in the days to come, particularly the day after Christmas (Dec. 26) and the following Saturday (Dec. 28).
"Many people who have the day after Christmas off of work will be out shopping for end-of-season deals," said Martin. "Retailers should track their stores’ conversion rates closely to turn more after-Christmas browsers into buyers."