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Optiek Hons invites eyewear customers to an inside-out sanctuary, retail spaces repurposed as eco-first community hubs and why MEASA e-commerce is booming.

Optiek Hons’ inside-out store elevates optical retail

Optiek Hons, Photography by Tibods, Belgium Optiek Hons, Belgium. Photography by Tibods
Optiek Hons, Photography by Tibods, Belgium Optiek Hons, Belgium. Photography by Tibods
Optiek Hons, Photography by Tibods, Belgium Optiek Hons, Belgium. Photography by Tibods
Optiek Hons, Photography by Tibods, Belgium Optiek Hons, Belgium. Photography by Tibods

Belgium – Eyewear specialist Optiek Hons is opening an experiential retail space that blends indoor and outdoor perspectives.

Designed by concept agency Zware Jongens, the space is built around the idea of allowing customers ‘to see and be seen’. Through strategically placed mirrors, shoppers can view their eyewear from all angles, while feeling immersed in the light-filled openness of the environment. Glass facades have also been placed on both sides of the store, with the back opening out onto a rear garden.

Forming an extension of the space, visitors are invited to step into the garden to view their glasses in an outdoor setting. ‘We wanted to offer a space where guests could actually hang out and test the glasses outdoor ‘in the shop’, rather than going to the streetside,’ Filip Janssen, founder of Zware Jongens, tells LS:N Global.

By using outdoor space in this way, the retail destination is fostering a sense of exploration and sanctuary for consumers.

LVMH is cataloguing and reselling its deadstock fabrics

Nona Source by LVMH Nona Source by LVMH
Nona Source by LVMH Nona Source by LVMH

Global – Luxury group LVMH has launched an online resale platform for its fabrics and leather goods.

The platform, Nona Source, provides a sustainable solution for deadstock materials that are usually stored in the warehouses of LVMH fashion and leather goods houses. Available at competitive prices, the luxury materials are conveniently catalogued for buyers to source from – and comprise different compositions, weights, colours and patterns. Materials are also shown in high-quality images and videos, enabling shoppers to view the fall and drape of each piece.

Industry professionals can buy fabrics on Nona Source as rolls, skins or panels, without the need for cutting or sampling. Designed by experts from LVMH via its DARE (Disrupt, Act, Risk to be an Entreprenuer) programme, this initiative sets an example to the wider industry on taking a creative approach to circularity.

As fashion brands confront the harmful realities of unsold goods, Nona Source shows how businesses can cater for a wave of Deadstock Designers and embrace agile new waste strategies.

Climate-positive centres that reinvigorate UK high streets

UK – Talking Tree is an environmental organisation repurposing empty retail spaces as community-centric climate emergency centres.

The spaces, which are opening across England and Wales, transform vacant retail sites into destinations for volunteers and community groups to work together on environmental issues. Each centre offers a range of activities addressing the climate emergency as well as creating a sense of community – from art exhibitions to sustainable living workshops. True to the company’s eco-friendly ethos, all appliances, furniture and equipment for each site are donated or come from salvaged materials.

Tony Woodward, a founding volunteer for Talking Tree, says: We want our centre to be a hub for the community, a welcoming space where anyone who lives or works nearby can come to share skills, ideas and information that will help us to collectively address the climate and ecological emergency first and foremost.

With the advent of Covid-19 having a significant impact on high streets, vacant spaces are being given a new lease of life through repurposing initiatives.

Talking Tree, UK Talking Tree, UK

Stat: E-commerce set for significant growth in MEASA region

Black Panther Wakanda scene Black Panther Wakanda scene

According to a study by CommerCity, the value of e-commerce in these countries is set to reach £104.9bn ($148.5bn, 122bn) by 2022. The research also shows that e-commerce has shown notable growth during the pandemic, with cross-border online sales in the Gulf region increasing by 214% year on year by mid-2020.

‘The e-commerce sector in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia is witnessing significant growth, which is driven by the confidence of its business community and eco-system,’ explains Amna Lootah, assistant director general of Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) and a board member at Dubai CommerCity. ‘This has also been led by the continuously changing consumer behaviour and the adaptation of advanced technologies that played a key role in easing the overall consumer shopping experience.’

To discover more ways in which increased connectivity is boosting commerce, read our African E-commerce Market.

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