Need to Know
28 : 03 : 18

28.03.2018 Retail

Depop helps users grow their brand, Sensei prioritises nutrition over yield of crops, Nike creates a retail destination for women.

1. Depop opens its first physical store

Depop, Los Angeles Depop, Los Angeles
Depop, Los Angeles Depop, Los Angeles
Depop, Los Angeles Depop, Los Angeles
Depop, Los Angeles Depop, Los Angeles

Los Angeles – Peer-to-peer m-commerce platform Depop is expanding into the real world with the launch of its first bricks-and-mortar location. Situated in LA’s Silverlake neighbourhood, it will sell a limited number of products with the rest of the space used as an office and a photoshoot space.

The photo studio will be available to the brand’s community of local sellers and can be booked through the app, with trained employees on hand to take the images. The service will be free, helping to support users in promoting their own personal brand.

In addition, Depop will host free workshops on ‘learning how to style fashion and lifestyle photoshoots, source vintage, build a brand and other skills to help them grow into creative entrepreneurs,’ according to the press release. To find out more about the most pertinent trends affecting the retail sector in the near and long-term future book your ticket for our Retail Futures Forum here.

2. Weird Type shows AR's impact on graphic design

Weird Type app

Cape Town – The new augmented reality (AR) app, Weird Type takes typography off the page and turns it into a digital layer sitting on top of the real world.

Artist and programmer Zach Lieberman worked with artist Molmol Kuo to create the app for the recent Design Indaba Festival in South Africa. The app allows users to create a digital typographical stamp. They can type words into the app and then use filters in order to manipulate and transform them. The pair’s project is an extension of their sketchbook, exploring how typography changes when it exists in a 3D space.

‘Space is an important variable for designers to consider, especially as we move towards more AR and VR systems,' says Lieberman. ‘We are really used to laying out type in 2D, cartesian [rectangular] grids, but things like 3D space and movement provide all kinds of interesting challenges.’

Weird Type comes at a time when many brands are still trying to understand how to make augmented reality useful, and not just a gimmick.

3. Sensei is an agri-tech company focused on wellness

US – With the tagline, ‘guiding you towards greater wellbeing’, startup Sensei offers a new take on agriculture. The hydroponics business, which grows plants in water rather than soil, is pitching itself as a healthcare rather than a food company.

Its focus is on farming more nutritious food in a less environmentally damaging way. Through hydroponic farming, where nutrients are delivered directly to waterbeds, as well as precision data, sensors and software Sensei can create the ideal environment for food to thrive. The goal is to create nutritious food year-round rather than simply food at scale. ‘Quantity of food is important but it’s not the full picture,’ explains Daniel Gruneberg, president of Sensei.

The company is moving away from traditional metrics of success like yield per acre, to concentrate on the wellbeing of consumers by monitoring the ‘nutrition per acre’, according to Gruneberg.

With consumers’ increasingly interested in the source of their food, brands need to consider how modern farming techniques might align with consumers’ good intentions. Find out more in our Educated Eating market.

Solar power plant by Kyocera Solar, Japan Solar power plant by Kyocera Solar, Japan

4. Nike continues its celebration of female streetwear fans

Unlaced by Nike Unlaced by Nike
Unlaced by Nike Unlaced by Nike
Unlaced by Nike Unlaced by Nike
Unlaced by Nike Unlaced by Nike

Global – Following the female-led redesign of its iconic Nike Air Force 1 trainers, Nike is again demonstrating its dedication to the Women’s Streetwear Market with the launch of Nike Unlaced. The new retail concept, which initially launched online and will later move into bricks-and-mortar stores, offers a curated selection of Nike styles for women.

Combining narrative elements alongside the shoes themselves, visitors to the site are able to ‘shop the story’ of women like Julia Sarr-Jamois, senior fashion director at i-D who offer insight into which is their favourite Nike style and why.

‘We know the hunger and appetite for sneakers amongst the female consumer is on fire, and now with Nike Unlaced we are able to offer her access to the product she wants in one fantasy sneaker destination,’ Silke Wirth, communications manager tells LS:N Global.

5. Chinese youth favour local brands

China – Credit Suisse’s annual consumer survey found that Chinese youth are more likely to gravitate towards local brands rather than those from abroad.

The report findings also indicate a growth in domestic purchases amongst sportswear with 19% of 18-65 year olds willing to pay more for Chinese brands. The movement towards local brands emerges from a growing sense of nationalism, according to the survey. ‘Like it or not, China is becoming a major power globally and that makes the younger generation more proud about Chinese brands,’ Charlie Chen, head of China consumer research at Credit Suisse told CNBC.

In our Emerging Youth China market, we explored the homegrown pride evident in the next generation of Chinese consumers.

6. Thought-starter: Why are women's finances being infantilised?

With research showing that the way the media speaks to men and women about money varies greatly, foresight writer Rhiannon McGregor believes brands need to help initiate a more constructive conversation around female finance.

Never trust a woman with money. This is the not-so-subliminal message being fed to consumers by the mainstream media both in the UK and beyond.

New research commissioned by Starling Bank analysed the linguistics of more than 300 finance articles from publications around the world. Some 65% of those targeted at a female readership referred to them as ‘splurgers’ and encouraged them to start ‘saving pennies’. In comparison, when journalists write about men’s relationship with money they take a much more assertive approach. Phrases like ‘opportunities to seize in 2018’ and ‘calculated risk’ are commonplace and they address topics like building an investment portfolio.

While studies show that women do indeed have on average more debts than their male counterparts, the reasons behind this cannot and should not be reduced to the sweeping statement that women are simply bad with money.

This kind of flippant sexism is reductive and serves only to reinforce harmful stereotypes.

Read the full Opinion here.

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