Toys ‘R’ Us testing AR to make stores digital playgrounds
Toys "R" Us is doubling down on its new brand positioning, “Today We Play.”
The retailer announced it has begun testing an augmented reality app, called Play Chaser, in 23 stores nationwide, with a chainwide roll-out planned for Oct. 21. Developed in partnership with PlayFusion, the free app allows users to activate different AR mini games and play experiences on their smart device while in Toys "R" Us stores.
To see the app in action, click here.
To unlock the games, customers download the app and then scan the Play Chaser signage points that are located on Toys "R" Us' store shelves. More than 10 experiences are offered, including a virtual basketball hoop that kids can shoot at solo or alongside friends in-store. Some games even have leaderboards that show where players rank amongst each other in their local store and nationally.
Canadian athletic wear retailer to make U.S. store debut
RYU Apparel is coming to the Big Apple.
RYU (Respect Your Universe) announced plans to open a store in in the hip Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. The 2,800-sq.-ft. store, the brand's first in the U.S., will open in the first quarter of 2018.
Originally founded in Portland, Oregon, RYU is an athletic apparel and accessories brand engineered for the fitness, training and performance of the multi-discipline athlete. Marcello Leone, whose parents founded Canadian luxury retailer Leone, took the company over in 2014. Leone moved RYU's headquarters from the United States to Vancouver, British Columbia, and revamped the brand to give it broader appeal. It currently operates four locations in Canada, with a fifth opening in October.
"We are excited to announce this important next step in the growth of RYU as a global brand," said Leone, CEO and president of RYU. "Expansion into the New York City area allows us to create connections and build community in one of the most influential athletic and fashion markets in the world."
Originally founded in Portland, Oregon, RYU or 'Respect Your Universe', is an athletic tech-style apparel brand engineered for the fitness, training and performance of the multi-discipline athlete. Marcello Leone, son of the founders of Vancouver-based multi-brand luxury retailer Leone, took the company over in 2014 and spearheaded an overhaul which saw its headquarters moved from the United States to Canada.
Nordstrom tries on new look
As retailers consider how to best use physical spaces in a digital world, Nordstrom is going “local,” debuting a small-format concept that has no dedicated inventory. Instead, it combines personal services with personal styling.
Set to open at press time, Nordstrom Local is located in West Hollywood, Calif., and has a 3,000-sq.-ft. footprint. The services include on-site tailoring (for garments purchased at Nordstrom, as well as at other retailers), easy returns (for goods purchased at Nordstrom and its Trunk Club subsidiary), a manicure bar, and a buy online, pick up in store service — with items ordered before 2 p.m. available for pick-up on the same day. Same-day delivery to the customer’s home is available for completed alterations or purchases (if ordered by 2 p.m.).
In addition, customers can consult with “personal stylists,” making an appointment online, over the phone or in person to take advantage of the free service. Along with giving styling advice, the associates can, at the customer’s request, transfer merchandise from Nordstrom stores (or its website) to Nordstrom Local for try on. Eight dressing rooms surround a central meeting space where customers can relax, chat with stylists or enjoy a glass of wine or other refreshments from an on-site beverage bar.
“We know there are more and more demands on a customer’s time, and we wanted to offer our best services in a convenient location to meet their shopping needs,” said Nordstrom senior VP of customer experience Shea Jensen, who led the Nordstrom Local initiative. “Finding new ways to engage with customers on their terms is more important to us now than ever.”