Westfield in partnership with Uber
Westfield’s billion-dollar renovation of its Century City Mall in Los Angeles will include a swanky Uber Lounge where customers can wait in style for their rides.
The shopping center owner has formed a partnership with Uber to facilitate use of shared rides at its centers nationwide. The mall owner will create drop-off and pick-up stations at every one of its U.S. properties, whose locations will be digitally mapped into the Uber app. The idea: make pick-ups and drop-offs easier and build mall traffic.
The deal includes the introduction of Westfield's first permanent Uber Lounge, which will be located at Westfield Century City in Los Angeles. The center is undergoing a $1 billion renovation to debut this fall. Westfield Century City's Uber Lounge will feature ultra-modern design, sleek seating, and customer amenities to let customers “wait for their Uber in style,” according to a company press release.
Moving forward, Westfield centers will host between one and ten Uber stations – each with prominent visibility, accessibility, and signage – similar to dedicated taxi stands or ridesharing pick-up points at entertainment and transportation venues. At some of the Westfield destinations, the Uber stations will also include kiosks with customer service representatives and "brand ambassadors trained to engage with customers and facilitate their Uber experience," the company said.
“Westfield’s shopping centers already have…digital enhancements such as product search, directional, and frictionless parking,” said Westfield COO William Hecht. The Uber deal, he added, “makes it more convenient than ever to travel to and from any Westfield destination.”
The service is not new to L.A. Caruso has for some time had a permanent Uber pick-up/drop-off location at The Grove. Last year it was the Uber’s busiest spot in the city with more than 2,000 drop-offs daily.
Home furnishings brand continues global expansion
West Elm brand is expanding in the U.K.
The retailer, a division of Williams-Sonoma, will open its second U.K. location, in the London suburb of Kingston-Upon-Thames in winter 2017. The two-story, 8,000-sq.-ft. store is on the ground floor of Bentalls Shopping Centre. The new location will open with the brand's holiday assortment, along with a signature mix of furniture and accessories, and Fair Trade Certified and handcrafted products.
It will also offer Williams-Sonoma's design consultation program, Design Crew, which pairs customers with experts who provide design services.
“We’ve had four successful years introducing ourselves to the U.K. through our Tottenham Court Road store, a strong e-commerce business and a thriving wholesale partnership with John Lewis, said West Elm president Alex Bellos. “Creating the best store experience and connecting with our surrounding community is rooted in West Elm’s values. We are excited to connect with local artists, makers and designers through our West Elm LOCAL program by offering them space to sell their wares and bringing our regular cadence of workshops, classes, and engaging events.”
West operates 102 retail stores in the United States, Australia, Canada and the U.K., ships internationally to customers around the world and has unaffiliated franchisees that operate stores in Mexico, the Middle East, Philippines and South Korea. In addition to home furnishings retail, West Elm operates West Elm Workspace in the commercial furnishings industry and announced its expansion into the travel and hospitality industry with the launch of West Elm Hotels. West Elm publishes the blog Front+Main and is part of an active community on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube.
Canada’s iconic sportswear brand debuts new store concept
Customization is front and center in a new experiential format from Roots that brings the brand's heritage to life.
The iconic Canadian retailer's new 5,100-sq.-ft. store, at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, showcases Roots’ history in an open, modern-cabin like space. Designed in collaboration with CallisonRTKL, the space features a dedicated leather customization workshop where shoppers can witness firsthand the handcrafted process that Roots' products go through. And using a digital design interface, shoppers can also customize their own products, adding a personal spin to their items.
Other features include an enhanced fitting room lounge where shoppers can relax while taking in images and artifacts from Roots’ past. Each of the fitting rooms has a different outdoor theme. Music brings life to the store through DJ areas and space for live performances.
“While working with CallisonRTKL designers, Roots meticulously showcased everything that makes their brand enduring and vital," said CRTKL VP Cindi Kato. "The space is a true reflection of Roots' commitment to the best representations of Canadian heritage, natural beauty, craftsmanship and integrity."