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An off-the-wall idea by Adidas

As well as forming a visual centrepiece, Adidas’s in-store virtual footwear wall has practical advantages for retail

Retailers are striving to find the best way to take the in-store experience online but Adidas has turned the tables and found an innovative way of bringing the virtual to the high street.

AdiVerse is a virtual footwear wall, unveiled by the sportswear giant this year at the National Retail Federation in New York, which it plans to implement in shops by spring 12. The location is still being decided but it is likely to launch in a London store. The wall displays product virtually, similar to how it appears on a website but on a much bigger scale.

As well as providing a pleasing backdrop for the store interior, touchscreen technology allows for customer interaction. The wall shows product in 3D form. Customers can zoom in and rotate the footwear and view product information.

Depending on the size of the wall, the technology can display up to 2,000 products at once, enabling retailers to exhibit a huge range of merchandise without the need for massive floorspace.

The AdiVerse wall has another advantage for retailers: built-in anonymous video analytics that provide stats on shopper trends and shopping patterns.

This added technology can build more detailed customer profiles, similar to those on an ecommerce site, which retailers can struggle to get in stores without actively speaking to customers.

Tablet PC-based checkouts will be available in stores, allowing customers to complete their journey online without needing to visit the actual store checkout. The launch is sure to cause a reaction and make an impact on shoppers as soon as they enter the store.

The extra floorspace it will allow for and the added analytics it provides will make it an appealing prospect for Adidas and other retailers. But it remains to be seen what type of shopper will use this concept and whether it will work across all fashion retail sectors.

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