Fashion retailer River Island has today revealed plans to open its first store dedicated solely to accessories and footwear later this month.
Set to be unveiled in Nottingham’s Victoria Centre on November 26th 2011, the boutique outlet will represent a step change in the business’s in-store design strategy, as it will feature various interactive technologies for customers to use.
An iPad will be available for shoppers to browse and order online from the entire River Island collection, while a TV screen will display film and photographic content to engage consumers.
The 1,721 sq ft store, which will stock items such as bags, hats, scarves and jewellery for women, will also showcase bespoke chandelier lighting, carpet wall coverings and architectural arches in order to develop a “vintage” feel.
In an increasingly cross-channel retail environment in the UK, defined by the rise in online and mobile retail sales, businesses operating in the industry have been keen to investigate ways they can use technology to encourage greater footfall in stores.
Such a mood is exemplified by the recent opening of House of Fraser’s first dotcom store, which does not stock products but instead allows consumers to order and browse goods online within a physical shopping environment.
Experienced retail industry professional Simon Burke, Chairman of Hobbycraft, a non-executive director at mobile voucher company Eagle Eye Solutions and ex-Hamleys boss, said it is vital that retailers start implementing the various technologies available to improve sales in bricks and mortar stores.
“For retailers to be successful they have to continue to have a profitable high street operation to underpin their business,” he commented.
“The knack is to harness developments in technology to bring customer traffic to their business, both online and in store, thus creating a truly multichannel proposition.
“A key to this is the potential of mobile-based commerce, the next ‘big wave’ in the technology of retailing, to incentivise customers to visit stores.”