Posted by Dale Buss on October 16, 2013 03:51 PM
Porsche owners may not be able to floor their able machines on the Pacific Coast Highway—not legally, anyway. But at a new Porsche Experience Center taking shape in suburban Los Angeles, and another one in Atlanta, Porsche fans will be able to engage in their every driving fantasy.
Pedaling their cars to maximum acceleration. Learning to skid through corners. Maneuvering on simulated ice and rain-slick pavement. Up to 100 drivers a day—and 500 for special occasions—are expected to be able to test their driving mettle when the adult amusement park opens on a 53-acre site in Carson, Calif., by the end of 2014.
"The driver is in the center of our strategy," Detlev von Platen, CEO of Porsche Cars of North America, told USA Today. "You will not find this anywhere else." Well, besides Atlanta, and at other Porsche Experience Centers in Silverstone, England; Leipzig, Germany; and (soon) near Beijing.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 15, 2013 03:42 PM
In a move preempted by high-profile collaborations, Apple has successfully poached Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to be its senior vice president of retail and online stores.
Over her eight-year tenure at Burberry, Ahrendts guided the global fashion brand through a period of great growth alongside creative director and newly appointed CEO Christopher Bailey, and her move to Apple represents just how well she utilized digital innovations and technology in her strategy that transformed Burberry's brand and overall customer experience.
Apple, which essentially set a new standard in retail with its streamlined brick-and-mortar stores, 'Genius Bar' customer service and in-store training is looking to keep its momentum as its recent succesful launch of its two new iPhones has set the stage for the brand to further infiltrate the Asian market—a key to future growth and success especially in mobile. Ahrendts will no doubt bring her knack for truly unique retail experiences to the personal tech giant—and her fashion prowess won't hurt either.Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on October 11, 2013 04:46 PM
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is at it again. The innovative airliner is extremely socially savvy and has launched some of the most notable brand-engagement campaigns in the travel industry, including a social media-powered "Meet & Seat" matchmaker and a Sims-like mobile aviation game.
And now the aviation brand is doing its part to reach out to its tiniest travelers, too. In partnership with Disney, KLM recently invited a handful of kids to a special pre-screening of Disney's new film, Planes. But the screening didn't take place at a local cinema.
Instead, the company parked one of its aircraft in a hangar at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport and invited the kids aboard for a once-in-a-lifetime experience that featured real special effects—and snacks, too.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on September 25, 2013 03:52 PM
Luxury auto brands are well aware that their target audience is the upscale, discriminating buyer with disposable income—the same buyer, in fact, who is attracted to the high-end fashion world and who wants an increasingly personalized, exclusive retail experience.
That's why the latest trend has luxury auto brands expanding into retail—even putting their brand names on non-automotive luxury products.
Bugatti, for example, unveiled an exclusive apparel and accessories collection last week at Milan Fashion Week consisting of two lines, "Ettore Bugatti," carrying an "EB" monogram, and "Extreme Performance," carrying the Bugatti logo. Included in the collection is an exclusive blue crocodile skin handbag for women, the shape of which is said to be inspired by the Bugatti's front grille. Bugatti will open as many as 35 exclusive boutiques around the globe in the next five years to sell its collection. In addition, Bugatti introduced "Tailor Made/Bespoke" for customers only—an exclusive program in which custom-made branded products are created to a customer's specifications.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on September 11, 2013 02:49 PM
Times are changing for UK-based Tesco, but the brand is working to stay ahead of the curve.
The world's third-largest retailer has waved the white flag in the US, selling over 150 Fresh & Easy stores to a US investment company after a six-year failed experiment. The move is part of an international retreat by Tesco that includes last year's exit from Japan and last month's merger of its Chinese operations with a state-owned company, leaving Tesco with just 20 percent of the new venture.
Tesco's broad failure to successfully penetrate global markets leaves the company with one clear direction: concentrate resources on its home turf. The newly launched Tesco Extra, a state-of-the-art "hypermarket" in Hertfordshire, is a way for Tesco to prove it is still very much in the game.
One of Tesco's largest UK stores, the Watford Tesco Extra is being positioned as a "leisure destination" in an effort to get consumers excited again about visiting a traditional retail store. Far more than a grocery, Tesco Extra is a kind of shopping extravaganza that broadens the food category to include a Harris + Hoole coffee shop, a Euphorium bakery, and Giraffe, a Tesco-owned restaurant chain.
Beyond food, shoppers will find wine and spirits, fashion (Tesco's own private-label F&F brand), cosmetics (including manicures), and such services as a pharmacy, an optician, and a nutritional center. Tesco will also offer a community room that could be used for anything from children's birthday parties to yoga classes.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 2, 2013 05:12 PM
The next 10 years of retail are going to be quite different from the last 100, mostly because of the introduction of digital, AT&T retail head Paul Roth told AllThingsD. So the company is about to change its entire retail experience, starting with a test store in the suburbs of Chicago.
The store features different areas, each styled after areas of a home. "Technology can be intimidating for people, but when we put them in a friendly, comfortable environment, we show them how technology can enhance their lives," Dave Fine of AT&T told the Chicago Tribune.
One very obvious thing that the new concept store is missing is cash registers. Instead, transactions will be completed with mobile devices anywhere in the store with any store employee, Forbes.com reports. “The future of retail is all about personalized service and education,” Roth told the site.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on July 3, 2013 10:38 AM
It's not a collapsible bong coffee thermos, but for fans it may be the next best thing. Cult hit "horror" film The Cabin in the Woods is set to become a real-life experience, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
At Universal Orlando, a Cabin in the Woods haunted house was just announced for the 23rd annual Halloween Horror Nights lineup of haunted houses, which will be open to park visitors from Sept. 20 to Nov. 2nd.
The creepy attraction—based on the Lionsgate (not Universal) movie—joins a long line of branded entertainment popping up at theme parks. Along with the hugely successful Wizarding World of Harry Potter park, branded attractions include the Macy's Holiday Parade, Transformers: The Ride 3D, The Simpsons Ride, Shrek 4D, Men in Black Alien Attack, Terminator 2: 3D, ET Adventure, Curious George Goes to Town, and Twister… Ride It Out..Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 20, 2013 03:37 PM
Shopping bags at Disney theme parks are generally overstuffed with Mickey ears, Dumbo stuffed animals and Little Mermaid outfits. Soon, though, those bags—at least the ones at Disney World—may be packed with plenty of non-Disney merchandise.
Disney World’s Downtown Disney is getting a revamp and expansion that is scheduled to be finished in 2016 and will result in a change of name to Disney Springs and a total change of sensibility. It will feature “uniquely Disney venues coupled with high profile third parties” and will mean the end for nightclub spot Pleasure Island, Fox News reports. Instead, Disney Springs will get a makeover that will include “Spanish revival architecture amidst a retail setting with waterfront dining.”Continue reading...