Need to Know
19 : 11 : 18

Nike uses data to offer smart shopping in-store, Google knows what you’re doing next summer and funding for femtech is thriving.

Celinununu’s kidswear frees children from gender binaries


Israel – Celine Dion stars as herself in a tongue-in-cheek campaign to accompany the launch of her new childrenswear brand Celinununu.

Created in collaboration with children’s fashion retailer Nununu, the sister brand is designed to liberate children from the traditional roles of boy and girl. The collection avoids gendered colours and is instead comprised of monochrome and yellow pieces with star and skull prints. While the slouchy aesthetic appears more stereotypically masculine in approach, dresses for both genders are also available.

An accompanying campaign takes a Backlash Brands approach, showing Dion’s ability to make fun of herself. The video follows the singer as she breaks into a hospital and sprinkles glitter on newborn babies, eliminating their gender binaries, including pink and blue clothing and signage, in the process.

The Childrenswear Market has made progress in breaking down gender stereotypes from an early age. However, many of these brands are lacking in overtly feminine styles, which are integral to any gender-neutral argument.

A play kit that transforms everyday objects into toys

Toyi Creative Play, Istanbul Toyi Creative Play, Istanbul
Toyi Creative Play, Istanbul Toyi Creative Play, Istanbul

Istanbul – Social enterprise Toyi has designed a maker kit enabling children to turn everyday items, such as water bottles and old boxes, into unique toys.

The play kit, which includes flexible connectors, joints, sticks, wheels, hands, feet and eyes, encourages free play. Toyi also intends to make toys more accessible by introducing social enterprise to the industry. For every kit purchased through Toyi’s Kickstarter campaign, one kit will be donated to a child in need.

‘In regions with many disadvantaged children, it is hard to send them the desired toys; so we thought we should make something that allows these children to transform the materials around them,’ says co-founder and designer Elif Atmaca.

With consumers becoming increasingly aware of the impact of their spending habits, toy brands are offering parents and children more environmentally friendly alternatives. Read more in our Conscious Play microtrend.

Google picks up travel planning where you left off

Global – In response to the overwhelming number of travel apps available, Google has rolled out a tool that uses search history to simplify travel planning.

The new feature will sit in Google’s Your Trips tool, which simplifies journeys by collating all travel information in one place. If consumers have recently been searching for flights to a destination, or hotels, restaurants and things to do, Google will use artificial intelligence (AI) to curate a Potential Trip.

‘We want users to consider this as their travel bucket list, and now when they search, they can easily access and leverage any research they’ve done to date related to a destination,’ says Richard Holden, vice president of product management at Google.

Although consumers are becoming more sceptical about how their data is used, Google’s new feature shows how technology brands can feed consumers’ data back to them in a practical way. Discover more about how the travel sector is evolving here.

Your Trips by Google

Nike makes shopping in-store as convenient as online

Nike Flagship, New York Nike Flagship, New York
Nike Flagship, New York Nike Flagship, New York

New York – The sportswear brand is using local data to stock shelves and offer smart, seamless shopping across an entire floor of its New York flagship store.

Nike’s new Speed Shop combines the convenience of online shopping with the experience of bricks-and-mortar retail. By layering physical and digital touchpoints, the brand is aiming to be more responsive to consumers’ needs. Staff will also stock the shop floor based on what items are selling best online in the local area.

The Nike app, which recognises when users have entered the shop, offers shoppers on-the-go access to in-store products. Customers can reserve items and have them held in lockers, scan products on mannequins and request them in their size, as well as check out without having to queue. Our Data ID Stores microtrend explores how brands are using customer data to personalise the store experience.

Stat: Femtech funding has quadrupled in the last five years

A sector that was once considered niche, investors are now racing to fund the rapidly growing femtech industry. Five years ago, the sector received just under $100m (£78m, €88m) in funding, according to PitchBook, but is now expected to top $400m (£312m, €353m) by the end of 2018.

Although women comprise around 49.5% of the world’s population, 92% of partners at the biggest venture capital firms in the US are men, according to the Boston Consulting Group. However, the industry is in the midst of transformation, and investors are realising the value in female-first start-ups such as Lola, Flo and Natural Cycles.

LS:N Global recently spoke to Tania Boler, the co-founder and CEO of Elvie, on how to inspire new conversations around femtech.

Thought-starter: Does retail's future lie in programming over product?

Inspired by members' clubs, hobbies and national holidays, a new template is emerging for a successful shopping experience, writes FRCH's Emily Hamilton.

With 25% of shopping centres forecast to close within the next five years, ‘mall’ is becoming the new four-letter word that many dare not utter – especially those in the retail sectors.

Developers around the world are already busy rebranding their current and future projects. Now they’re mixed-use centres, hybrid destinations, community spaces, precincts, platfoms – new terms that aim to define the evolution of the shopping mall.

Event-oriented spaces are no longer seen as a bonus – they are, and will be, an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to creating the shopping centre of the future. For retail brands, programming is the ultimate investment in the future of their space.

As we look to the early 2020s, forward-thinking brands and developers will be those looking beyond product and customer service to instead make a more fundamental connection with their audience. They will present visitors with an elevated experience, while offering meaningful programming that inspires, educates and entertains, forging a more engaged community, and in turn more loyal customers.

Read the full opinion piece here.

Coal Drops Yard, London. Photography by John Sturrock
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