In 2020, RetailDetail will launch ‘The Future of Shopping’ in the Stadsfeestzaal shopping centre in Antwerp. It will be a global first, as a 'live' lab at this scale - where retail chains and tech firms will test brand new concepts together and directly measure their results - does not exist anywhere at the moment.
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Virtual and augmented reality make shoppers more inclined to buy things, a new Belgian PhD study shows. “VR and AR fill in the gaps of traditional marketing”, the University of Brussels study finds.
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For the first time in years, Apple is no longer number one in the list of the most innovative companies in the world as compiled by Boston Consulting Group. The new champion is Google, followed by Amazon. Both companies are heavily invested in artificial intelligence.
At Tesco, real meat and meat substitutes will now be found side by side. The British supermarket chain has noticed that vegan is the biggest food trend of the decade, so they're launching a new meat counter where the two can be found next to each other.
Colruyt will start using electronic price tags in all of its stores. Not only are they more environmentally friendly, but they also help save on expenses.
Shopping is now possible on Instagram: pictures of brand products are now 'shoppable', allowing you to buy the items and pay through the Instagram app. Users can seamlessly shop in their own environment, featuring nothing but their favourite brands.
Chinese internet giant Alibaba is looking for a new source of revenue: it has opened a "hotel of the future" in Hangzhou, brimming with its own technology.
Decathlon has opened a lab store in Singapore in order to test innovations like internet-connected mirrors, a mobile payment app and a fast transport system for online orders.
In March, French chain Auchan will open its first 'Minute' store in Europe, in the French municipality of Villeneuve d'Ascq (close to the Belgian border). These compact "container stores" have no registers or staff: shopping is entirely done through smartphone.
Big names such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Nestlé, Coca-Cola and Carrefour have started a trial project of collecting empty packaging at their consumers' homes for re-use. They want to reduce waste and create a circular working system.
This August, Ikea's shelves will be displaying wi-fi speakers designed by the furniture chain in collaboration with Sonos. This will bring smart devices and the internet of things closer to everyone, IKEA believes.
Driverless 'supermarket cars' will start bringing groceries at home for American Ahold Delhaize subsidiary Stop & Shop. The proximity chain will be sending out mini-supermarkets on wheels around Boston.
H&M is pulling the plug on Nyden, a Los Angeles-based subsidiary brand that was created to appeal to young people by working with influencers and celebrities. The brand barely lasted for a year. Meanwhile, the group is investing in innovative store concepts.
German fashion chain Bonprix (a subsidiary of Otto Group) is opening an innovative test store on 14 February. The store, located in Hamburg, will allow customers to shop through an app - showing how digital shopping works in practice.
Microsoft's retail ambitions are shaping up: American chain Kroger is testing its digital shelves and artificial intelligence in two stores. In addition, it wants to sell the technology to other retailers.
Belgian-Dutch retail group Ahold Delhaize will have to focus more on robotics and artificial intelligence, in order to stay ahead of Amazon, CEO Frans Muller says. He therefore wants to cooperate closely with technology companies.