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Emma & Roe, Queensland, Australia

BY CSA STAFF
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Emma & Roe, a new concept from Australia-based, global jewelry retailer Michael Hill International, has opened its doors in Queensland, Australia. Focused on the jewelry charms business, Emma & Roe stands out for its bold but feminine visual stylings. Clean lines are accented with touches of elegance to balance Emma & Roe’s sophistication and moments of playfulness. The color palette features a signature berry color, complemented by a fresh, youthful bright pink and a neutral slate grey.

“We looked at the category, which has traditionally been very occasion and memory based and saw an opportunity to create something that is much more inspiring and fashion forward,” said Rhonda Hiatt, executive director, brand strategy & analytics, Interbrand Design Forum, which designed the store along with providing other services (see below).

The layout directs focus to a center area that speaks to trend and style, while also encouraging customers to interact with the merchandise. Cases are shoppable from both sides — a departure from the industry norm—and are designed to encourage side-by-side engagement. A custom crystal-adorned chandelier overhead sets the tone with its juxtaposition of edgy fashion and trendy sophistication. It is set within a circular recessed ceiling framed by a dimensional monogram icon in the brand’s signature color.

Each of the stations in the store highlights a different collection or category. Curated selections featured as “Emma’s Favorites” are intended to promote the products in a more conversational way. The use of mirrors encourages shoppers to experiment and play while reinforcing the fashion component of the brand.

The overall environment is engaging and interactive, with features that invite to play and explore with the product both physically and digitally.

Store design: Interbrand Design Forum, Dayton, Ohio (Additional project responsibilities included customer segmentation, establishing the brand strategy, naming, logo development, and verbal and visual identity.)


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To snare customers, Walmart expands Savings Catcher

BY CSA STAFF

Walmart plans to roll out Savings Catcher nationwide later this summer. The receipt comparison tool is designed to eliminate the need for customers to visit multiple stores to find low prices, the company said at one of its annual shareholders events.

Built on proprietary technology, Savings Catcher looks at other retailers’ ads and gives customers an eGift card for the difference if a competitor’s offering is lower than the price they paid at Walmart.

At launch, Savings Catcher will compare approximately 80,000 grocery and consumables purchases. In the coming months, produce and general merchandise will also be added to the tool.

“Our customers are savvier than ever when it comes to finding the best deals – they are using technology to do their research and spending hours clipping coupons. We knew there had to be an easier way,” said Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising and marketing officer, Walmart U.S. “Savings Catcher offers customers yet another reason to trust us when it comes to helping them save. It brings greater price transparency to the market and gives our customers confidence that they are finding some of the best deals available in retail.”

Originally available only on Walmart.com, Savings Catcher will now be available on Walmart’s mobile app and compares advertised prices from retailers such as Aldi, Harris-Teeter, Target, Walgreens and H-E-B.

Nearly 1 million receipts have been processed using Savings Catcher since Walmart launched its pilot in seven markets this spring, the company said. The tool ranks first on the retailer’s list of concepts tested to date.

Walmart also plans to offer customers eReceipts and the option to instantly load each of their purchases into the tool automatically to find the lowest prices available in their areas. Savings Catcher and eReceipts will work together to expand innovations such as eCoupons and automated shopping lists.

“We are going to win by integrating digital and physical. Savings Catcher and its expanding capabilities are just one example of that. We are well-positioned to innovate and lead in the tech space, and you’ll see more of this,” added Mac Naughton.

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West Elm launches wedding and gift registry

BY CSA STAFF

Home furnishings retailer West Elm has rolled out a wedding and gift registry enables consumers to register in stores, online or via smartphone app.

The registry includes exclusive offers from West Elm partners Riley & Grey and Minted as well as shopping guides, registry tips and home decorating advice from bloggers and industry experts, including Bash Please, Brooklyn Bride, Snippet & Ink and Style Me Pretty.

“Our customers have great individual style and definitely know how to party,” said Vanessa Holden, creative director of West Elm. “Our new wedding and gift registry features tips and tricks from some of our favorite partners, and it’s the perfect tool to help couples design a home to suit their new life together or plan for any type of celebration.”

The West Elm assortment includes handcrafted and artisan-made products. Customers will also have access to the Monogram Shop so they can personalize their gifts.

Registrants will also have access to free home design services provided by West Elm Home Stylists. West Elm retail locations will host private registry events and there will be opportunities for customers to get ideas and inspiration while browsing pieces in person before the store opens to the public.

Headquartered in Brooklyn, N.Y., the brand introduced its first catalog in 2002 and opened the doors of its first retail location in 2003. West Elm operates 58 retail stores in the United States, Canada, Australia and the U.K. It is a member of the Williams-Sonoma portfolio of brands.

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