Retail space is expensive yet hands on, whereas web based stores are relatively cheap yet completely hands off for consumers – especially when it comes to fashion and footwear.
Adidas has unveiled a dramatic new twist on the concept of a pop up shop at the 2011 National Retail Federation’s convention in New York, which could offer a hybrid solution to this issue.
The Virtual Interactive Wall, a collaboration between the brand and Intel, puts 8,000 shoes within a fingertips reach of passing consumers via a giant interactive touch screen. The footwear is rendered in 3D, enabling users to view all aspects of the design, in addition to spec info and video content and even the ability to find out what Twitter users are saying about the shoe.
The wall also has some very clever recognition tech built in as well, which can determine whether a user is male or female and recommend items based on their specific needs.
"We've levelled the playing field for small retailers," says Chris Aubrey, VP, Global Retail Marketing for Germany-based Adidas. "They can now act like a big flagship store in a town like New York.
A number of brands are eager to make the connected store concept a reality, with big names such as Proctor and Gamble and Kraft Foods on board with Intel.
A prototype of the adidas interactive store is set to emerge in the UK in around 12 months time.