Archive for the ‘Latest News’ Category

Most easterly town in the UK welcomes new Gateway Retail Park

May 16th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Urban Edge Architecture is celebrating the realisation of its £7 million new build retail park on Tower Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk. Completed on the 02nd May 2019, with the tenants now starting to fit out. The c70,000 sq ft development marks a substantial investment in the region, as well as turning a redundant brownfield site into an impressive new gateway for the town.

The scheme includes a new retail terrace, coffee drive thru and a mixed retail and restaurant unit, complete with a remodelled site access, car parking and hard and soft landscaping. Urban Edge Architecture worked with TPS Development and Project Managers on behalf of client Freshwater Group, to create a contemporary response to the requirements of modern out of town retailers.

Tom McNamara, Director at UEA says: “We are excited to see our design finally completed. It has been a long journey – with the original planning being granted in December 2015 – but the finished development is a quality new retail destination that will boost Lowestoft’s economy and offer good local employment opportunities, as well as creating a positive first view of the town from the south.”

Mark Newton, Director at TPS, adds: “It’s great to see this scheme finally completed for our client Freshwater Group. It’s a great testament to the team involved who have worked hard to deliver this new retail facility. It’s been great to track the schemes progress through the time-lapse camera Stainforth Construction provided. The retail units are currently being fitted out with the first units opening within the next few weeks. The retail park was 75% pre-let prior to completion and we are pleased to announce that the remaining 15,000sqft is now under offer and will introduce some new brands to Lowestoft.”

Urban Edge’s design puts emphasis on the integration of this new development into the wider area and creates a strong link between the existing retail and commercial uses to the south of the site. Stylish design and quality flows through into the public realm with the provision of an attractive landscape, with a variety of native trees and shrubs adding visual interest for customers.

Seven Dials unveils Public Installation by Rene Gonzalez as part of ‘The Artist’s Artist Project’

May 15th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Seven Dials has officially announced the next installation for its community initiative, The Artist’s Artist Project, which sees an ongoing series of public artworks exhibited in the unique West End destination, before being donated to selected charity partners.

Displayed on Shorts Gardens, the latest work by Rene Gonzalez is titled At the Entrance of Seven Obscure Passages and pays tribute to the 30th anniversary of the neighbourhood’s iconic Sundial Pillar and the conservation efforts of The Seven Dials Trust, while conveying the area’s wider history and sense of discovery.

The exclusive work takes the place of The Evolution of Agatha Christie, by British artist Iona Rowland, which was inspired by the literary icon’s novel The Seven Dials Mystery and will be auctioned shortly with all profits to go to UK women’s charity, The Fawcett Society.

Each installation for The Artist’s Artist Project is interconnected, with the showcased artist nominating another for the following installation. London-based Rene Gonzalez was one of three artists put forward by Iona Rowland, whose piece was then selected by a panel of Shaftesbury representatives and Seven Dials stakeholders.

Rene brings his signature aesthetic of ‘magical realism’ to the piece, using acrylic paint on raw canvas to depict the iconic Sundial Pillar, and capture the architecture and evolution of Seven Dials since its establishment in the 17th century. Key historical figures are also present in the piece, including Thomas Neale who designed the estate, and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands who unveiled the reconstructed monument for The Seven Dials Trust in 1989.

Commenting on The Artist’s Artist Project, Rene Gonzalez said: “When I lived in Costa Rica, I was a mural and graffiti artist so I’m very aware of how art in public spaces reflects and transforms a community’s identity. After working in fine art for many years in London, it’s a privilege to be commissioned for this project and be given the platform to show viewers a glimpse of Seven Dials from my perspective – a mythic place filled with enchantment, secrets and mysteries.”

Karen Baines, Head of Group Marketing and Communications at Shaftesbury said: “The Artist’s Artist Project is a great example of our commitment to bringing diversity and meaning to the experience of Seven Dials – for visitors and locals alike. Rene Gonzalez’s artwork was a standout choice in the way that it marks the Sundial Pillar’s 30th anniversary, and it will add another element to the sense of discovery across the village. We’re excited to develop this new initiative, allowing us to regularly work with emerging talent in enhancing the public realm whilst remaining true to the character of Seven Dials.”

David Bieda, Chairman of The Seven Dials Trust added: “Seven Dials is steeped in history and, alongside Shaftesbury, we aim to illuminate the area’s fascinating past for visitors, residents and businesses alike. To have continual public artworks displayed no Shorts Garden not only maintains the long-held creative spirit of the area, but also goes hand-in-hand with the Trust’s regenerative work across the only quarter in London remaining from the late 17th century with its unique street layout. We’re delighted that Shaftesbury has chosen to celebrate the Sundial Pillar’s 30th anniversary and the work of the Seven Dials Trust with this commemorative art installation.”

The four-month display of Rene Gonzalez’s At the Entrance of Seven Obscure Passages will coincide with the one-day event, FESTIVAL 30, being held by Seven Dials to mark the 30th anniversary of the landmark. The celebration will take place on Saturday 29 June from 11am – 6pm across the seven interconnecting streets, with pedestrian-only access to live entertainment, music, food, theatre, arts and crafts.

On the day, curators of the highly anticipated Seven Dials Market, KERB, will also bring its hand-picked street food traders to Shorts Garden, giving visitors an exclusive taste of what’s to come ahead of the market’s official opening in September.

At the Entrance of Seven Obscure Passages will be displayed in Shorts Garden until September 2019, then donated to the Seven Dials Trust in conjunction with the 30th anniversary celebrations and as a contribution to their ongoing fundraising efforts.

Puretec Fitness boosts revenue and takes back control of brand with new eCommerce site

May 15th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Leading home fitness equipment retailer, Puretec Fitness, has secured its future and taken back control of its brand by launching a fully transactional website, after historically relying on eCommerce marketplaces to target customers.

PureTec Fitness has been supplying high quality home fitness and sporting equipment to homes throughout Europe since 1995. Marketing brands such as Tunturi, Marcy, Everlast, Bionic Body and Steelbody at highly competitive prices, it has built a reputation for quality, service and expertise in its field.

However, as its success grew, Puretec recognised the disadvantages and potential risks of selling its products predominantly through third-party marketplaces. With ambitious plans for growth over the coming years, it became clear that launching a new eCommerce site of its own would give Puretec the ability to build greater brand equity and customer loyalty than it could achieve selling through marketplaces alone.

Puretec enlisted the help of full-service eCommerce agency PushON to devise and implement a strategy that would enable it to take back control of its brand online. PushON worked closely with the team at Puretec to gain an in-depth understanding of the unique personality of the business.

After extensive research and planning, it was decided that PushON would rebuild Puretec’s site, make recommendations to improve ranking for key search terms, and work with Puretec to produce content for the new blog area. PushON also provided technical SEO migration support both during and post-build, and has continued to offer on-going website support and maintenance.

As a result of the collaboration, a new scalable and mobile responsive website was launched at the start of this year. The site cleverly combines community with shopping, via a simple Learn and Shop UX feature, creating a website that educates, supports and advises customers with their requirements, and then seamlessly nudges them into a purchase. Within just four months of the site’s launch, Puretec’s revenue had increased by 222.53%, with transactions up 124.14%, showing the value of a well-designed eCommerce site for businesses that have previously relied on third-party marketplaces.

Ben Owst, head of creative services at Puretec, commented: “PushON instantly understood the vision we had for www.exercise.co.uk and have executed a ground-breaking website that perfectly aligns with the Puretec brand. They have brought our concept of an educational learning area to life with a clear SEO strategy, seamlessly integrating it with the shopping area. They have also made it fully responsive so it looks incredible across all devices.”

Steve Beckett, client services director at PushON, commented: “A very close working relationship with the team at PureTec, combined with extensive research, planning, and implementation allowed us to deliver a site they are delighted with. The challenge was to provide a platform that will facilitate a level of growth for PureTec over the coming years that would not have been possible selling mainly through marketplaces. A fully transactional, optimised eCommerce site will enable the business to unlock it full potential.”

For more information on PushON, visit: www.pushon.co.uk

The Beauty of Recycling: the current impact, goals & how YOU can help according to TerraCycle

May 14th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Tom Szaky, CEO and Founder of TerraCycle shares a how-to guide on recycling and how the partnership with The Body Shop can help reduce the beauty industry’s impact on the environment

  • An estimated 35.8 million plastic bottles are used every day in the UK and only 19.8 million are recycled
  • UK recycling rates are up overall in the UK – but personal care and beauty waste is still contributing to the world’s growing plastic problem

To help lessen the impact of beauty packaging waste The Body Shop has partnered with TerraCycle to make recycling boxes available in 230 UK stores (and 672 stores worldwide across 5 countries) to help encourage the recycling of plastic packaging.

Tom Szaky, the CEO and Founder of TerraCycle shares his tips and knowledge of recycling in the UK – and comments on plastics in the beauty industry.

Recycling plastic with Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle

The impact of the beauty industry

Some types of beauty plastic packaging are difficult to recycle. Tom explains:

Everything technically can be recycled, but there are certain aspects of beauty packaging today that are considered difficult-to-recycle and are not accepted through kerbside collection.

Some plastics that are considered hard to recycle:

  • Black and dark plastics – Rigid black plastics aren’t accepted by most Material Recovery Facilities.
  • Anything multi-compositional or multi-material – the thin, flexible stand-up pouches that hold shampoo, bubble bath, lotions and gels are not recyclable kerbside, this is because they jam up machinery and are considered too low value to capture
  • Small items – the add-ons and fitments that give these packages high-function, need to be separated from the rest of the packaging. This is because they are made from different types of plastic but also because they are small and fall through the cracks of the screeners at recycling facilities due to their size. So smaller cosmetic packaging is not deemed recyclable for this reason.

Other methods need to be sourced to ensure this plastic is not ending up in landfill, for example all these types of plastic are recyclable through the TerraCycle recycling programme with The Body Shop.

On recycling in the UK

In recent decades, the UK has been making slow progress on how it manages waste and resources. Recycling rates are up, but mainly for the easier and valuable waste streams, and carbon emissions are holding steady. But there needs to be more ambition to collect, recycle and re-purpose more resources, particularly the harder to recycle and non-profitable types of waste. The planet needs everyone to do more.

The goal is to move to a more circular economy which keeps resources in use for longer – for that to happen; we must reduce, reuse and recycle more than we do now.

The easiest way to recycle is to check what materials / products / packaging you can recycle from home via your council. There is no uniformity across the UK though – some councils will accept different things to others. Follow the instructions issued by your council and include only those items in your recycling boxes / bins. By adding other materials, you increase the risk of contaminating the whole box / bin full, so it doesn’t get recycled.

Where possible, reuse your packaging and purchase higher quality, more durable items that will last many years: rechargeable batteries, woven tote bags or bags for life instead of plastic grocery bags, metal cutlery and ceramic dishware, refillable water bottles – wherever you can make the switch, go durable

Partnering with The Body Shop

We (TerraCycle) are delighted to be working with an iconic brand like The Body Shop to offer consumers the chance to recycle their empty bottles, tubs, tubes and pots.

The focus of reducing waste at home has been largely reserved for the kitchen, but the bathroom, where we take care of ourselves and prepare to look and feel our best; is filled with packaging that simply gets thrown away when used up, making it a category of waste that is often ignored.

With The Body Shop stores, TerraCycle will collect packaging from the boxes clearly marked with ‘Return. Recycle. Repeat’. When full they will be returned to TerraCycle to be recycled and re-purposed.

‘Love your Body Club’ members will also receive a reward worth £5 when returning 5 empty Body Shop bottles as an incentive to recycle.

Learn more about The Body Shop and TerraCycle here: https://www.thebodyshop.com/en-gb/plastic-recycling-interview-with-terracycle

Zytronic PR: Ultra-slim Blade kiosk in Volkswagen showroom trials

May 14th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

The sleek Blade kiosk uses interactive touch technology from Zytronic to achieve its slim 40mm design

Zytronic, a manufacturer of large format, durable and customised Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT™ and MPCT™) touch sensors has announced that its touch technology has been used to create the double sided, 55” interactive display in the slimline Blade kiosk created by Design to Production and currently being piloted in Australian Volkswagen showrooms. It is based on Zytronic’s Zybrid® touch sensors together with their latest ZXY500 multitouch touch controllers which when mounted to either side of the Blade display adds only 12mm to the slim profile of the unit, bringing the whole kiosk in at a staggeringly thin 40mm.

The critical factor is the selection of Zytronic’s projected capacitive ZXY500 controller. With its proprietary ASIC coupled with in-house developed touch detection algorithms, the touch sensors can be mounted almost directly in contact with the display surface, reducing parallax and enabling the super slim form-factor.

Using Zytronic touch technology was part of the Blade’s design specification from the earliest design phase: “For the Blade to be interactive, was key,” confirms Design to Production director Peter Gordon. “That’s why we love Zytronic because they make the best, high performance capacitive touchscreens. The feedback we received regarding The Blade has been very positive. People just can’t believe The Blade is touch enabled on both sides — they couldn’t figure out how we added touch and maintained such a slim profile. That’s a testament to the projected capacitive technology that Zytronic produces — it’s market leading.”

“There’s incredible attention to the detail,” explains Peter Gordon. Which is one reason why the Blade has caught the eye of the automobile industry in Australia, with some 20 units taking part in a pilot trial in Volkswagen garages around Australia. The Blade is beautifully resolved and ships with low profile castors that allow the unit to be easily relocated in a vehicle showroom — all you need is mains power.

For Peter Gordon the magic is all in the slender profile and the success of future product development is in concealing the touch technology as to be almost invisible: “We’ve been manufacturing kiosks for quite some time; we know what impresses people; and it’s the thickness of the unit that is always the key. The slimmer that silhouette; the more impressive the kiosk – hence the name, Blade. With their latest ZXY500 touch controller, Zytronic leads the market in this respect. I mean, Zytronic must be doing something right because knows they’re the best!”

The Blade is built to exacting standards, in Sydney by the Design to Production manufacturing team. “We use state of the art equipment and only the best manufacturing techniques,” explains Peter Gordon. “There are other double-sided kiosk and signage products in the market but not many are touch enabled. Those that are, use inferior touch technology, and are noticeably chunkier as a result. The Blade is ‘a first’ in that regard.”

Being touch enabled, the Blade in-built content invites patrons to tap an on-screen icon to request more information. A selection of brochures are available and the customer can have the desired material emailed to them immediately. Naturally the sales team are also alerted for follow up — informing Volkswagen regarding the vehicle the user is interested in as well as their name, along with age and gender data derived from the on-board Quividi real-time attention analytics solution.

Peter Gordon concluded, “It’s early days, and there are myriad potential applications for The Blade.” Design to Production are in discussions about using The Blade to entertain children with interactive showroom games (“how many bales of hay can you fit into the back of an Amarok!”), acknowledging that keeping the family entertained allows patrons to dwell longer and have the time required to make a significant decision such as the purchase of a new car.

Outernet Global announces worldwide co-production and innovation partnership with Technicolor Inc

May 14th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Outernet Global has announced a multi-year strategic partnership with Technicolor as they bring to fruition the world’s first high capacity, immersive media space to a global city centre. Set to open initially in London in 2020, the multibillion-pound project is a revolutionary step in the creation of location based experiences at iconic destinations.

The Outernet is a global network of central city hubs designed to elevate the culture and commerce of the world’s great cities through the largest, most immersive digital experiences. Technicolor merges industry-leading artistry with the most innovative technology to unleash extraordinary experiences for audiences everywhere and anywhere. The partnership unites stellar creative talent and leadership, who collectively bring top media, branding, property development, and entertainment experience. Together they will be delivering boundary-pushing mixed reality, VR, AR, and AI environments to the globe’s ultra-high footfall areas – with a goal of making them into a powerhouse network of connected retail and cultural hubs.

The crown jewel of The Outernet London will be The Now Building – which will bring epic scale to storytellers and content providers via 360-degree, 8K floor-to-ceiling screens. Every day will be a new experience for locals and tourists alike, as the Outernet is refreshed with a rotating carousel of broadcasters and advertisers, video artists and live performance events, and exclusive digital offers and experiences. Because it’s always on and never switches off, the Outernet aims to be a constant and timely source of news, entertainment, and immersive digital experiences to whomever passes by – an expected 400,000 visitors per day.

The partnership will be led operationally by Outernet London and Technicolor’s MPC and The Mill.

“We’re building the largest capacity entertainment venue in London since the 1940s, with the highest resolution screens anywhere in the world,” said Philip O’Ferrall, Outernet Global President & CEO. “Our location at the very heart of this global capital is the perfect stage to launch this revolutionary new platform – which also includes a 2,000 capacity live music venue that aims to re-energise the rock ‘n’ roll pedigree of the surrounding Soho area, [while] acting as a catalyst for the next wave of reinvestment in this iconic part of London.”

“Outernet is at the forefront of the global media economy, taking brand experiences to a whole new level,” added Frederic Rose, CEO at Technicolor. “As a company that unites creativity with technology to push the boundaries of what entertainment can be, we’re truly excited to be a part of this journey. Our partnership is a natural fit, helping brands to realise the increasing value of immersive media environments.”

Concluded O’Ferrall: “The unique physical and logistical challenges of The Outernet London require best-in-class partners. Technicolor has an impressive track record of delivering future-facing technology and innovation. In partnership with storytellers and leaders across multiple industries, they find new ways – whether through virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, or beyond – to tell compelling stories and engage with audiences. This makes them a natural partner for Outernet Global as we roll out our strategy worldwide.”

While The Outernet London is the first in a series of connected city centres offering this truly unique experiential destination, plans are already underway to develop similar sites in other global hubs, including New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, and Dubai.

3 Reasons temporary distribution operations are becoming a permanent fixture in E-commerce

May 14th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

By Joe Farrell, Vice President of International Operations at PFS

Thanks to affordable short-term leases and advances in technology, the concept of pop-up facilities in retail is presenting brands in the UK with an agile alternative to traditional commerce operations. Whilst retailers large and small have been embracing the modern pop-up since 1999, the concept of the pop-up distribution centre is still a fairly new one. Here are 3 reasons temporary distribution operations are becoming a permanent fixture in E-commerce.

1. Increased flexibility

With service level expectations only getting harder and harder to meet – having a flexible approach to order fulfilment is crucial. For the majority of consumers, next day delivery is a standard requirement and retailers who can’t keep up with this risk losing out to the competition.

Due to their flexible nature, non-traditional fulfilment methods such as pop-up distribution centres and space-on-demand warehousing could provide a flexible and cost-effective solution to this. Pop-up distribution centres can be deployed anywhere across the globe and help online retailers get their products closer to the customer. Current ambiguity over the effect Brexit will have on cross-border trading, means that it is more important than ever for brands to be agile and able to respond quickly to the growing needs of today’s consumer.

2. Quick to implement

Alternative fulfilment technologies can also be extremely effective when scaling up. Whilst the rise of social commerce has offered brands an easy and quick way of reaching their customers, it is also transforming current expectations in relation to delivery. If customers can order products at a click of a ‘Buy Now’ button, then they expect the delivery experience to be just as quick and seamless.

Pop-up shops in this instance could be the answer for brands who may not have the right infrastructure, ability or expertise in-house to react to customer demand. The flexibility of this solution can also allow growing brands to test the waters in new geographies and approach new audiences without having to commit to a permanent facility, reducing initial capital outlay and representing better value for money.

3. Perfect for peak

Keeping up with peak demand and seasonal events such as Christmas, Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be extremely challenging for e-tailers. Often brands will find that their current facilities will not support peak volumes and that extra warehousing will be needed. Designing and implementing another permanent facility can be costly and extremely time-consuming and often brands will find themselves with very little time to react. Pop-up distribution centres take little time to implement and at a low cost can be tested during off-peak periods.

Whilst it could be perceived as a ‘short-term’ or ‘temporary’ solution to online order fulfilment, the pop-up distribution centre is a very necessary tool for the multitude of businesses looking to compete in the current volatile retail landscape. Due to their flexible and low-cost nature, retailers embracing pop-ups will be able to enter new markets without the need for permanent investment. By doing so brands can serve customers quicker and more accurately, resulting in increased customer retention and a strong ROI.

Implementation of non-traditional fulfilment methods, underpinned by technology, will be key to success in today’s fast-paced and competitive retail landscape. Ultimately, being able to reach customers quickly and efficiently will be key to successful growth in the retail sector.

Radley launches digital in-store shopping

May 14th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Radley has launched digital in-store shopping to strengthen its omnichannel capabilities.  
 
The handbag and accessories retailer is enabling in-store customers to access its entire product range via an ‘Order In-Store’ app, regardless of where the item is located.  
 
Radley is collaborating with omnichannel order management specialist OneStock to unify its inventory and deploy the new fulfilment channel. Orders will be delivered from the most appropriate store or distribution centre, and there is a click and collect option too.  

There are 32 Radley stores in the UK, alongside the brand’s online presence.

“We wanted to create an in-store digital shopping experience for our customers offering more product options, higher stock availability and an improved click and collect offering,” said Francis Rodrigues, Head of IT at Radley. “With OneStock we have the opportunity now to deliver this.”

Radley is also implementing a mobile point of sale system in stores to improve checkout speed. Transactions willbe managed via OneStock’s app, which uses PayPal Here technology to process payments.

“By using technology that encourages customers to shop in-store, Radley is creating an optimised omnichannel experience,” said Romulus Grigoras, CEO at OneStock. “Full visibility of its collection, and less queuing in stores due to mobile payment capabilities, will offer customers a service that reflects the pedigree of this quintessentially British brand.”

The Generation Game: Generation X, 39-59-year olds, most open to embracing in-store technologies, new research reveals

May 13th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

65% of GenX shoppers use digital touchscreens in store

50% of demographic using loyalty card apps

While Generation Z and Millennials are often described as the first generation of digital natives, Generation X are consistently the most open to tech innovation when compared to younger shoppers, research by Vodat International reveals.

Original research of over 1,000 UK shoppers reveals that Generation X are the most willing to use a wide array of in-store technology, ranging from contactless payments and touchscreens through to emerging retail tech, such as augmented and virtual reality.

One of the key drivers of this trend is that Generation X shoppers view store technology as a fast and convenient way to satisfy their need for product information. 65% of GenX said they would be happy to use digital touchscreens to access product details – compared to 53% of Millennials (29-38-year olds) and 50% of Generations Z shoppers.

The statistics also highlight a higher uptake by GenX consumers when it came to using interactive shelves and digital edge labels that provide product specs, information kiosks that enable ordering, and shop floor staff equipped with tablets or smartphones.

20% of Generation X shoppers said they would happily interact with robotic shop assistants, compared to 16% of Millennials and just 12% of GenZ customers. 17% of GenX shopper said they would like to see augmented and virtual reality instore compared to just 10% of the younger age groups.

While younger shoppers are often portrayed as being glued to their mobile phones, research reveals it is in fact older shoppers who are more likely to download and use retailers’ apps to collect and redeem loyalty points, vouchers and offers. Loyalty card apps are popular with half of all GenX respondents, slipping to 44% of GenZ and 42% of Millennials.

Roy Reynolds, Technical Director at Vodat International, commented: “It’s clear that in-store connectivity and customer-facing tech have now firmly entered the retail mainstream. Shoppers from all generations now expect slick, innovative digital experiences while they shop. Retailers that successfully fulfil this desire, rather than simply paying lip service will win a greater slice of the market and successfully increase conversion rates, customer loyalty and brand advocacy.”

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