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A byte of the Big Apple: tech in store at New Balance and True Religion

As part of a recent trip to New York, Drapers joined software technology company Demandware on a store tour, looking at some of the latest technologies being implemented in shops across the Big Apple. 

The ‘Be you, Be 1’ touch screen customisation kiosk

The ‘Be You. Be 1’ touch-screen customisation kiosk 

New Balance

150 5th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Footwear retailer New Balance has introduced a number of new technologies into its flagship 1,500 sq ft store on 5th Avenue, which opened in August 2011. These include the “Be You. Be 1” touchscreen customisation kiosk, which integrates with the retailer’s digital and mobile offering to allow customers to choose the material, colour and personalised branding of a shoe. Once ordered, the shoes take seven to 12 working days to be designed and made in the US. There is also a foot scanner that reads pressure points and determines size, width and inner-sole options when customers stand on it for 15 seconds. Additionally, the New Balance store has a demo area that is themed based on the time of year and shows customers footwear being assembled on site. In-store customisation events are also regularly held in this area.

LCD panels are at the front and the back of the True Religion store highlighting the latest promotions and content

LCD panels are at the front and back of the True Religion store, highlighting the latest promotions and content

True Religion 

513 Broadway, New York, NY 10012

Denim brand True Religion introduced tech into its store to slow its customers down as they walk through the space. LCD panels are at the front and back of the store, highlighting the latest promotions and content, while further panels are used to assist customers with their shopping, providing access to buy from the full online inventory, with product often appearing online before going into store. The panels are integrated with iWatches, which are worn by sales staff, who can use a specifically designed app to flip information between the watch and the larger screen. On the screen, a barcode is included on product shots that can be scanned using the iWatch to buy either online or in store. Future plans include using the iWatch to alert staff when a particular customer has walked into store. Since the implementation of the LCD screens, sales in store have doubled.

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