Ahead of PSFK's "Opening Your First Store Panel" during the upcoming New York Retail Innovation Week, featured panelists weigh in on the challenges and opportunities facing brick-and-mortar retailers today, as well as the keys to a successful store experience.
Retailer Walmart expanded its fleet of Bossa Nova in-store bots from 50 to 350, taking time-intensive chores such as scanning shelves to look for out-of-stock items off of human employees’ hands.
Supermarket chain Giant Eagle began trialing San Francisco-based startup Simbe's Tally, an autonomous inventory robot that utilizes computer vision and RFID to scan shelves, providing insights on purchases and re-stocking management.
Austin, TX-based Pensa Systems has developed a drone for in-store inventory management, utilizing computer vision to capture real-time shelf conditions and artificial intelligence to recognize how products are managed and predict patterns for stock-outs. The drones are small, quiet and have enclosed-rotors in protective housing to make them safer. to be deployed after hours or select store hours when areas are free.
Convenience store chain 7-Eleven introduced a next-gen robot dubbed Veny in its Seoul, South Korea, location. The AI-powered robot comes with the hand-pay system, which identifies individual customers by their veins, allowing customers to pay simply by placing their hand on the robot.
JD opened a cashierless store in Jakarta, Indonesia, its first outside of China. Items are tracked by RFID, and camera placed throughout the store track shoppers’ movements to generate store heat maps to monitor traffic, product selection and shopper preferences to help optimize inventory and displays. The store sells FMCG and beauty products, along with apparel, so shoppers can try on a pair of jeans and walk out of the store wearing them. Facial recognition technology identifies shoppers as they leave, charging their credit card automatically for any items they take.
Quick-service restaurant chain McDonald’s is using AI to personalize the menus of its drive-thru location. Thanks to its acquisition of AI startup Dynamic Yield, McDonald’s can make hyper-targeted changes to its digital outdoor menu boards at individual locations. Taking into account contextual factors like weather, time of day, traffic and popular items, the menu’s ‘decision technology’ can instantly rearrange the display to highlight specific items that may be most desirable to diners in that moment, as well as suggest items based on their current selections.
Automaker Hyundai’s experiential showroom immerses visitors inside the brand’s vision of automotive culture through interactive installations, events, a service center, cafe and classes on topics such as vehicle maintenance. It also features CLOi GuideBot, a friendly robot created by LG Electronics that can answer questions about the showroom and its vehicles.
This four-story concept store, filled with flowers and trees, has been designed as a community platform that encourages harmonious interaction between the designers, artists and the community at large. It sells an eclectic range of products, from gardening and housewares to fashion, with items changing every few months to ensure that shoppers will always discover something new.
The flagship store of Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster features a rotating series of immersive art installations to transport shoppers into a theatrical, sci-fi-inspired world. Past installations include ‘The Salvation Moon,’ a post-apocalyptic world where survivors are praying to a new moon for salvation.
Korean streetwear brand Stretch Angels’ flagship marries two playful themes, airports and sports, to offer shoppers a highly engaging and photographable experience. The first level has a colorful airport theme, with a luggage claim centerpiece filled with palm trees, a check-in counter and airplane seats. The store then transitions into a sports theme on the second floor featuring equally striking decorations such as a boxing ring, a faux swimming pool and a gymnastics area covered in red velvet.
Consumer electronics brand Apple blends its trademark minimalist aesthetic with the streets of Garosugil, Seoul. The full-length window blurs the line between the street and the store, while interior trees mirror the iconic tree-lined streets of the neighborhood. The store also features a space for ‘Today at Apple,’ a program where visitors can learn skills including music, art and coding, and Boardroom, a training space for educators and developers.
Coffee shop YND239-20, whose name is inspired by a serial code, immerses guests in an almost cartoon-like experience. The walls of the café are a graphic black and white color scheme and the furniture—the aesthetic of which incorporates the trompe l’oeil style that cartoons often employ—is designed to fit with the line-drawn feel and create the illusion of being immersed in a comic book.
Hyundai Motor Company continues to expand its complementary services for the holders of its Hyundai credit card. Hyundai Cooking Library is the latest addition to a collection of exclusive spaces, which includes the Music Library and the Design Library. The five-story building offers an extensive menu of culinary experiences, from a library devoted to cookbooks to cooking classes taught by Korea’s top chefs in high-tech kitchens. On the second floor is The Ingredient House, an experiential lab with over 190 ingredients for members to play with. The library also houses a cafe, a bakery and a rooftop restaurant that serves an interactive dining experience by Park Hyatt Seoul’s executive chef.