Retail

From groceries to placemaking, a wide-ranging exploration of the retail industry

Need to Know
23 : 07 : 19

A bar for fast-casual facials, Lululemon opens a one-stop fitness shop and modern dating puts sexual performance in the spotlight.

Shame Plane calculates the startling impact of flying

Shame Plane

Sweden – The interactive platform allows people to see the environmental impact of air travel, with constructive advice on the lifestyle changes that can offset their journeys.

Shame Plane lets users input the start and end points of their journey, with the platform outlining the square metres of Arctic ice that the equivalent journey will melt. A trip from London to New York, for example, equates to the loss of 6.6sqm of ice, and would require 5.2 years of sustainable travel to offset.

Rather than leave users feeling frightened by the impact of their journey, however, the site offers practical advice on how to offset it against lifestyle changes, such as reducing food waste, to going car-free or even vegetarian. Created by graphic designer Victor Ginsburg Müller, the idea for the platform was established after he became increasingly aware of flygskam – or flying shame – and the growing global conversation around the negative impact of air travel.

As we look to the 2020s, travel and hospitality brands have an opportunity to use such data to transform their operations, taking a Conscious Tourism approach.

Glowbar takes a fast-casual approach to facials

GlowBar, New York GlowBar, New York
GlowBar, New York GlowBar, New York

New York – The fast-facial start-up offers bespoke 30-minute treatments that bridge the gap between a dermatologist's office and a spa.

Glowbar positions itself as an efficient, effective and accessible alternative to dermatologist or salon experiences. Before each appointment, a short consultation featuring a survey and an algorithm developed by Glowbar is used to determine a personalised treatment. Combining professional skincare brands such as Environ, IS Clinical and Elta MD, treatments can also include certified procedures including dermaplaning, chemical peels, extractions, LED and microcurrent therapy.

One-time treatments are available for $65 (£52, €58), while the start-up’s membership model entitles customers to one treatment per month, 10% off retail products, a guest pass and access to member-only perks for a monthly fee of $55 (£44, €49). ‘We wanted Glowbar to be a consistent addition to consumers’ skincare regimens and fit seamlessly into busy schedules. Our ‘no-fluff’ approach is important to creating a customised treatment concept without sacrificing efficacy,’ says Neha Govindraj, co-founder and COO.

For more on the evolution of the spa, read our Modern Med Spas microtrend.

Netflix is turning off global audiences

United States – Streaming platform Netflix is failing to retain its pace of growth, with falling rates of new subscribers in Q2 2019.

In the US in particular, the company lost 130,000 customers between April and June 2019, with only 2.7 million of a projected 5 million new global subscribers signing up to its TV and movie-streaming services. Higher subscription prices have been cited as a factor in this slowdown, alongside content changes and the loss of cult TV shows such as The Office and Friends, which have proven popular among Millennial and Generation Z audiences.

While Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO, says its shifting success is not down to growing competition from other streaming platforms, new category players such as Disney+, which will cost just $6.99 (£5.60, €6.20) a month, and the soon-to-launch BritBox, could prove tempting new channels for value-minded family viewers.

As consumers start to look for entertainment beyond the mainstream, alternative entertainment platforms such as College Music and Dis.art are also appearing online, rooted in anti-establishment ideals.

Netflix, Global Netflix, Global

Lululemon lets consumers test-run fitness garments

Lululemon, Chicago Lululemon, Chicago
Lululemon, Chicago Lululemon, Chicago
Lululemon, Chicago Lululemon, Chicago

Chicago – The brand’s first experiential store is its largest to date and includes fitness studios, a meditation area and a café.

While Lululemon offers free running clubs and yoga classes at many of its existing stores, the Lincoln Park opening is its first retail space to include three purpose-built fitness studios. In addition to hosting between six and 10 classes a day for $25 (£20, €22) each, customers care able test out its branded workout gear during classes, before returning items to be washed.

According to Lululemon, allowing consumers to trial its performance wear in this way means they can fully experience key styles and products before purchasing them. The brand will also be educating shoppers on the science behind garments, including how technical details enhance both the function and aesthetic. The fitness classes also mark the first time the brand is monetising its workout offerings.

Seeking to build a community around its new store, Lululemon is showcasing how retailers must look beyond product to establish a more fundamental connection with their audiences.

Stat: Modern dating is amplifying performance anxiety

Love in the Digital Age, a new study by Havas Group, reveals the impact of online dating on self-confidence, belief in love and the quest to find the perfect partner.

Collating insights from17,500 teens and adults across 37 countries, the study reports that people are feeling more pressure than ever when it comes to their sexual performance, with a heightened need to meet partners' expectations. As a result, Havas reports that four in 10 consumers are willing to monitor their sexual activities and performance for improvement.

With our digitally-driven lives placing increased pressure on people’s sexual wellbeing, health and wellness brands have an opportunity to help people take a more measured, long-term approach to pleasure. In our latest macrotrend Conscious Deceleration, we explore the nascent brands using touch and sound to tap into the more emotive side of sex.

Thought-starter: Will peer platforms transform retail?

A trust deficit between shoppers and brands is driving the rise of community-led platforms where purchasing tips and style advice are openly shared.

Retail brands’ race for consumer attention has led to a torrent of new product drops, ill-fitting influencer marketing and unrelenting digital communications infiltrating every platform available to shoppers. Working to counteract this, a series of new online platforms bring together like-minded shoppers to share their recommendations and experiences of products and services.

Launched in spring 2019, H&M Group is embracing the peer-to-peer opportunity with Itsapark – an online platform and community of women willing to share their styling and shopping advice. While created by the global fashion retailer, Itsapark is a brand-neutral space that utilises a question and answer format to build and share greater fashion knowledge.

Countr similarly offers product and styling recommendations, while also enabling users to seamlessly shop for items recommended or styled by their peers, thanks to an integrated e-commerce functionality. Though the platform works with well-known brands, its peer recommendations are based on ‘unsponsored posts by real people’ who pull together instantly shoppable looks from their wardrobes.

Read the full Peer Platforms microtrend here.

Countr website Countr website
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