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Marie Claire dresses up first-ever pop-up store with technology innovations

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

An 80-year-old fashion magazine is using technology to bring the fashion, beauty and entertainment featured on its glossy pages to life.

Marie Claire is launching a pop-up store called “The Next Big Thing Concept Shop.” The store, which is located in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, is organized by the magazine’s three main sections: @Play, which focuses on recreation; @Peak, a section based on wellness, and @Work, which is focused on career. Neiman Marcus stylists will provide advice and tips on the latest selection all designer fashions available at the store.

The iconic magazine is integrating different technology innovations, supported by MasterCard technology, to engage shoppers throughout their store visit. For example, dressing rooms feature interactive mirrors from Oak Labs that recommend accessories for outfits, and Clarins beauty counters display Sensor Mirror Pro virtual skincare mirrors, which were developed by MemoMi.

The store also features an integrated mobile app that enables visitors to make seamless cashless transactions — supported by MasterCard — from anywhere within the store, including the fitting room mirrors. Customers can also use the app to book one-on-one appointments with Neiman Marcus fashion stylists, and sign up for a variety of in-store events and activities.

“Since its inception, Marie Claire has led influential and important women on the path to discovery, proving that curiosity is the best currency,” said Marie Claire VP/publisher Nancy Berger. “We’re excited to share what’s new and what’s next, while offering New Yorkers to experience the future of shopping with our partners at Mastercard.”

The store will be open between Sept. 21 and Oct. 12.

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Study: Amazon cashes in on sweet and salty snacks

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon has evolved into a destination for a variety of categories, and now it’s adding sweets and snacks to this portfolio.

Out of $49 billion in total sales across sweets and snacks in 2016, Amazon rang up $240 million in 2016. And between January-August 2017, the online giant has already grabbed $215 million — a year-over-year (YoY) growth of 42%, according to “Sweets & Snacks: The Amazon Effect,” a report from One Click Retail.

Though the biggest subcategories – chocolate candy ($31 million), salty snacks ($31 million), and non-chocolate candy ($27 million) – lead the charge, much of the year-to-date (YTD) growth has been driven by more health-conscious consumers. Dry fruit snacks, arguably the healthiest of all subcategories, experienced 75% growth, more than any other subcategory. The next three top growers are dried meat snacks (65% YoY), snack/granola bars (59% YoY), and crackers (57% YoY).

Of the larger volume categories, salty snacks grew the most rapidly (49% YoY), leaving sugary treats relatively stagnant by comparison. Conversely, sweets & snacks sales in Europe are still overwhelmingly driven by sugary treats, the study reported.

The sweets subcategory dominates in the U.K., and chocolate leads in both Germany and France. Unlike the U.S., the majority of top-selling items are sweets and chocolates, making up at least eight of the top 10 items in all three of these countries.

Amazon’s private brands are contributing to the company’s success in across the category. Amazon has two private brands competing in the snack space: Happy Belly and Wickedly Prime. Wickedly Prime ranks 65th in the product group with $800,000 sales YTD. Half of those sales are popcorn snack bags, generating 25% of the sales of the top incumbent SkinnyPop (with $1.6 million YTD sales).

Happy Belly, on the other hand, ranks as the 4th-best selling 1P (Amazon vendor central) brand in the snacks category, generating $3.5 million in YTD in the snack nuts subcategory. Happy Belly’s biggest 1P competitor is Planters with $6.5 in snack nuts sales YTD, but the private label’s Trail Mix products have no direct 1P competition on Amazon, according to One Click Retail.

Another contributor to these sales is Amazon’s Prime Surprise Sweets program — a button on an Amazon Prime member’s dashboard (which members purchase for $4.99). When clicked, the service automatically orders an $18 box of assorted artisanal sweets.

Amazon’s Alexa is also driving category sales, as Amazon Echo owners simply shout out the candy or treat they’re craving, and Alexa places the order in real-time, the study said.

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Walmart to make a big move—literally—in about five years

BY Marianne Wilson

Even headquarters have a shelf life.

Walmart is planning to build a new, central headquarters — one better suited to a "digitally native" workforce — in its hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas. The discount giant revealed the news in a note by CEO Doug McMillon on the company's website.

Walmart traces its current home office back to 1971. Since then, its office footprint has grown without a holistic long-term plan, resulting in a patchwork of more than 20 buildings in Northwest Arkansas.

"For some time now, we’ve been concerned that this ad hoc office network actually inhibits our ability to compete in the rapidly changing retail landscape," McMillon wrote. "We need to be curious, collaborative, agile and accountable if we are to win in the future. We need a workplace that fosters those skills and traits."

Walmart will build its new home campus on a large tract of land located along J Street in Bentonville. McMillon said the new space would offer improved parking, meal services, fitness, and natural light. Also, it will be integrated into the community trail system, for easy walking and cycling access.

"We intend to bring most of our home office associates in Northwest Arkansas onto a central campus with accommodations for a more digitally native workforce and space that encourages greater collaboration and speed," McMillon said.

Walmart expects the new campus will take five to seven years to complete.

"There’s still a tremendous amount of planning, design and coordination to be done and the property must be readied before we even begin construction," McMillon said. "But today’s announcement formally kicks off the process of working with city and state officials, as well as other stakeholders, to move the project forward."

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E.Jumbo says:
Sep-19-2017 10:18 am

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