London – Tom Ford has opened its first stand-alone beauty store, which offers products for male and female beauty consumers. The store is divided into six rooms, including a men’s grooming room, designed in grey glass, marble and mirrors to capture a minimalist aesthetic. The store combines features such as mirrors that store make-up tutorials and emails them to customers in chapters, as well as virtual lipstick trials and an interactive perfume counter. The experiential space also includes a ground floor area with augmented reality and a fragrance room offering a curated selection of scents.
As explored in our Beauty Temples microtrend, luxury brands are increasingly catering for beauty consumers as a way of expanding their offers and appealing to a new audience.
2. Breve phone embraces the art of forgetting
Breve by Zenum, Los Angeles
Los Angeles – Breve by Zenum is a smartphone that embraces the ephemerality of real-life interactions. Users can set content in the phone to self-destruct after a matter of seconds, minutes or hours. In line with an increasing interest in ephemeral forms of media, such as Snapchat and Instagram stories, brands are recognising that consumers are increasingly looking for media that expires, helping them to live in the moment and not have to carefully curate the content.
UK – The East of England Co-op is to sell food that has passed its best before date in a bid to tackle the problem of food waste. The supermarket chain will sell dried foods and tinned items at a reduced price of £0.10 to encourage sales and reduce the amount of food thrown away in its 125 East Anglian stores.
About 10m tonnes of food are wasted annually in the UK, according to waste and recycling think tank WRAP UK, with supermarkets contributing considerably to this figure. The advisory body has applauded the move, which follows a three-month trial in 14 Co-op stores, as complying with food safety standards. In our Food and Drink Futures report, LS:N Global examines the rise of Educated Eating as consumers become more aware of the impact their food choices have on the world around them.
East of England Co-op, UK
4. Re:scam uses chatbot to subvert scammers
Re:scam by Netsafe, New Zealand
New Zealand – Cybersecurity firm Netsafe has created a chatbot designed to waste email scammers’ time. Anyone that has received a suspicious email can forward it on to the proxy email address, [email protected], which uses artificial intelligence to assume one of multiple personalities. By using humour and employing common grammatical errors, the chatbot aims to trick phishers into maintaining a conversation, which will help collect data on their vulnerabilities.
The email assistant has been designed to tackle New Zealand’s prolific problem with cybercrime. Some 70% of businesses that have been the subject of a cyber attack have fallen victim to an email scam, according to Netsafe, and in 2016 it cost the country nearly £130m (NZ$257m, $175.8m), according to reports from the Anti-Phishing Working Group.
5. Fifth of shoppers to return Black Friday buys
In the wake of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, research by courier company CollectPlus suggests that many items bought in the sales over the holiday weekend will be returned. While the seasonal sale model has traditionally been part of the retail calendar, there are signs that this model needs to be updated, a topic that is explored in our Opinion piece with Claire Hobson, co-founder of Irregular Labs.
6. Thought-starter: Will shoppers welcome smart delivery?
With missed deliveries still a key friction point for retailers, senior journalist Peter Maxwell explores how brands are beginning to use smart devices to gain access to consumers’ homes.
In an era when convenience is king, retailers are still struggling with the ‘last mile’ – that final stretch between the distribution centre and the front door – especially the issue of missed connections.
This not only has the potential to damage consumers’ perception of a brand, it also has a direct impact on its bottom line: repeat re-deliveries are costly, while packages stolen while left in unsecured locations have cost e-commerce brands almost 1% of their revenue in recent years, according to LexisNexis.
Increased consumer uptake of Internet of Things (IoT) devices has led two of America’s leading retailers – Amazon and Walmart – to create new services that use the technology to let delivery drivers enter consumers’ homes unassisted. This, they hope, will end the frustration of finding your delivery soaking on the front porch or the disappointment of finding nothing at all – but will they be able to build sufficient confidence in the security of such models?