Archive for the ‘Latest News’ Category

Funky Soap Shop sees sales jump by two thirds with optimised web store

August 15th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Funky Soap Shop has seen sales jump by two thirds after optimising its web store to create a smoother customer journey. 
The hair and skin care retailer produces its range entirely from natural ingredients. It reported that turnover was 69% higher in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period the previous year.  
Traffic to also increased by 65% over the first six months of this year.  
Founded in 2014, Funky Soap Shop is partnering with ecommerce specialist Oxatis Group, to develop its online presence as the business grows. The retailer has  implemented prebuilt functionalities to hone the customer experience – a loyalty programme will encourage repeat orders, while a currency converter is helping international shoppers to place orders more easily. Bespoke technology enables orders to automatically feed into Royal Mail.  
“Consumers are increasingly seeking out chemical-free beauty products that are kind to the planet, so we wanted to ensure our website was fully optimised to meet this demand,” said Anni Kriesche, Founder and Director of Funky Soap Shop. “The platform’s versatility means we can quickly update the site with new features, freeing up time to focus on other areas of our business such as creating new ranges.” 
The retailer plans to upgrade its mobile site with Oxatis Group’s Progressive Web App technology later this year, given sales from the channel currently account for almost 40% of transactions. It is also looking to launch a separate website for wholesale orders on the ecommerce platform. 
“Funky Soap Shop is well-positioned to serve the growing market for environmentally-minded beauty products and packaging,” said Marc Schillaci, CEO of Oxatis Group. ”Agile ecommerce technology has allowed it to move seamlessly from start-up to successful business.”  


Further success at Springfields Outlet with two new signings

August 15th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Sanderson Leisure and Retail (SLR) has secured two new retailers for Springfields Outlet, a shopping and leisure destination in the East of England. Crew Clothing and independent retailer Starlings Toy Outlet are set to open at the destination, owned by the Triton Property Fund, managed by UBS.

British fashion retailer Crew Clothing is set to open its second outlet store in the East Midlands at Springfields Outlet, opening in a 1,980 sq ft unit. Inspired by the British coast, the brand will offer its range of timeless menswear and womenswear classics. It will boost the fashion offer at the destination.

Michelle Keates, Head of Retail at Crew Clothing, said: “We’re looking forward to opening at Springfields Outlet and being part of such a thriving destination. Springfields has a broad catchment, which is very much in-line with our target audience. The destination is an opportunity for us to better reach large numbers of our existing customers and a new audience that we’re sure will be attracted to our high quality collections.”

Springfields will be independent retailer Starlings Toy Outlet’s first location in Lincolnshire. Trading for more than 100 years, it will be the brand’s first outlet store. The specialist toy operator will open a 3,800 sq ft store offering a wide selection of children’s indoor and outdoor toys and arts and crafts. The experience will build on the range of existing interactive leisure facilities at the destination’s integrated leisure offer, Adventure Land.

Ian Sanderson, Director of SLR, said: “The two new signings demonstrate significant ongoing interest in Springfields and further illustrate its resilience. As a destination, we are leading the way, demonstrating that outlet is going mainstream, attracting top brands and delivering consistently successful results. Springfields has proven itself to be an innovative and forward-thinking destination, demonstrating its ability to evolve and respond to consumer trends, paving the way for the future of retail. It’s very rewarding to see brands demonstrating their confidence in the scheme and signing to open here. We’re looking forward to the coming months as we finalise exciting plans for the future at Springfields.”

The new signings follow the announcement that Springfields is bucking current retail trends. In the 12 months since Adventure Land opened, revenue at the centre has increased by +7% year-on-year and footfall by +5% YoY. The integrated leisure offer has helped to attract more visitors, providing more reasons for visitors to travel from further afield, stay for longer and visit more often. This has resulted in significant benefits for existing retailers, driving increased dwell times and attracting a wider spectrum of customers.

Home to 54 outlet stores, the retail offer at the destination is complemented by a comprehensive and integrated, casual dining and leisure offer. As outlet continues to go mainstream and attract more customers, the importance of creating a day-out destination that appeals to the whole family increases.

Located in south Lincolnshire, the scheme is easily accessible, and sits close to the junction of the A16 and A17, near three major arterial roads providing easy access to Peterborough, Stamford, Nottingham, Lincoln and Kings Lynn. The catchment of 1.24 million is expected to increase by a faster rate than the UK average, up +8.1 per cent to 2025, compared to +6.5 per cent nationally.

Since launch, Springfields Outlet has an average occupancy rate above 98 per cent and has achieved 14 years of consecutive turnover growth since opening in 2004. The scheme includes 54 outlet stores, nine restaurants, a 58,000 sq ft garden centre and a 43-bedroom hotel.

Agents for Springfields Outlet are Knight Frank and SPACE Retail Property Consultants.

Image below: Crew Clothing.

Co-op launches pilot for biggest ever business transformation programme with SAP

August 14th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

New SAP system will deliver a single, real-time, consistent process-centric view across retail operations

Co-op, one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, has announced details of the first stage of its Retail Business Transformation programme (RBT), the biggest transformation programme the convenience store retailer has ever undertaken.

Launched this week with suppliers, the system pilot will support Co-op’s ambitious growth strategy, introducing new SAP technology to improve ranging, stock holding, availability, and more accurate forecasting information. A new cloud-based Supplier Collaboration portal – Co-op Connect – is also in place.

Focus: Shoppers, Stores, Suppliers

Co-op is deploying SAP’s Retail ECC Suite on HANA; an integrated business process and data management platform that will deliver a single, real-time, consistent process-centric view across retail operations. This will enable improved ranging, stock visibility and optimised stock levels to ensure availability of the right product in stores to meet customer demand. It will also help to better understand customer demand, to facilitate better price and promotion decisions to the benefit of the customer and the business.

The systems are being tested in 24 stores, across five categories with 15 suppliers and c300 SKUs. The categories being trialed are soft drinks, salads, paper, pizza and salad, working with suppliers including Coca Cola and Heineken.

Michael Fletcher, Chief Commercial Officer at Co-op, said: “The RBT programme is an integral part of Co-op’s on-going success, as we look to ensure that the technology we are using will future proof the business for many years to come. This pilot will allow us to work with suppliers to ensure that it is working perfectly before we roll it out elsewhere, and we are already getting positive feedback that the new portal is faster and easier to navigate.

“Investing in new technology will allow us to grow the business, helping to deliver a stronger Co-op that will result in stronger communities.”

“This is a true collaborative partnership with Co-op and we are playing a major role in its groundbreaking transformation project,” said Jens Amail, Managing Director UK and Ireland, SAP. “With a vision to outpace the competition and streamline supply chain efficiencies, we will deliver a real-time, integrated retail and finance business platform to support the Co-op’s successful growth into the future.” 

NanoLumens Installations at JFK International’s Terminal 4

August 14th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Multi-phase tech upgrade adds multiple large-format curved NanoLumens displays throughout the airport’s international terminal.

John F. Kennedy International Airport’s international arrivals terminal, Terminal 4, has completed the latest phase of a multi-year project to install a number of large-format NanoLumens LED displays that make cutting-edge technology central to the passenger experience. According to Paul Kline, Senior Vice President of Business Development at digital solutions integrator Creative Realities, Inc. (CRI), the terminal’s private owners at JFK International Air Terminal, LLC (JFKIAT), wanted to bring the terminal into the 21st century, and they knew that meant specifying NanoLumens’ striking displays, including curved and double-sided models. 

“More than twenty million people come through JFK’s Terminal 4 each year,” Kline said, “so the advertising and exposure opportunities are enormous. JFKIAT wanted to create a new terminal experience that leverages modern technology while providing concrete benefits for their business and for passengers.”

Following the installation of its first NanoLumens display in 2017 – a double-sided, 30-foot-wide, 3mm pixel pitch curved model – Terminal 4 continued the technological upgrade with a new 40-foot-wide curved display that is used exclusively for advertising, focusing on the terminal’s shops in its retail corridor (pictured). The new display has been designed to conform to the existing architecture, and it appears as though it’s native and organic to the interior space. It’s affixed to an overhead wall that travelers pass under as they walk through the terminal. Complementary ceiling adornments bring the entire space together in a way that lifts the eye up and creates an immersive, design-forward atmosphere that is both commercial and artistic.

While the displays are certainly moneymakers for the terminal and its advertising agency, Kline said that JFKIAT was also excited and eager to add glamour and technological excitement to the terminal experience. Terminal 4 now presents a stark contrast with the more traditional terminals in the rest of the airport, which are managed by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Terminal 4 is the only privately-owned airport terminal in the United States.

“They needed something commensurate with their position on the world stage, and they understood that NanoLumens’ wealth of knowledge, experience, and ability to design custom-curved LED displays to nearly any specification would result in a world-class presentation,” Kline said. “After the two curved displays, we moved on to upgrade the terminal’s proverbial ‘over the escalator’ advertising with another 2.5mm pixel pitch NanoLumens display that ensures crystal clear video playback and visibility from every angle and distance.”

After initiating the project, NanoLumens tapped the experienced professionals at  Creative Realities (CRI), who have worked with NanoLumens products many times, to manage the actual integration.

“Airports around the world are reimagining their digital infrastructure to reflect the modern world, and with the help of CRI and visionary airport partners like JFKIAT, NanoLumens is proud to play a leading role in that transformation,” said NanoLumens Regional Sales Director Dana Michaelis.

All of the NanoLumens displays benefit from the manufacturer’s breakthrough design, which utilizes “Nixels”, small panels of pixels that fit together to form the display, enabling vastly simpler installations and maintenance than single-screen designs. Other important features for airport usage are the unrivaled six-year warranty, tuneable brightness that can shine brightly even in direct sunlight, and superior off-axis viewing angles that ensure every viewer sees what the content designer intended.

NanoLumens displays are application specific and purpose-built, designed to solve the unique challenges of each application with minimum impact on infrastructure. That means clients have infinite degrees of freedom when designing their next marquee digital installation. The manufacturer offers unique form factors, plus straightforward and uncomplicated mounting capabilities that require no additional mounts and have no hidden costs.

Thanks to NanoLumens’ state-of-the-art design process, and patented frame-and-skin topology with variable frame registration, each display’s Nixels™ float unregistered on their framework, allowing for free-form curvatures and industry-leading LED board-to-board tolerance and uniformity.

The price of progress: Small and independent online retailers look to overcome barriers to realise innovation ambitions

August 14th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Almost half of online retail SMEs in the UK want to invest in flexible payment options (49%) and e-commerce (48%) over the next year 

But cost, market uncertainty and uncertain ROI are barriers to adoption

New research launched today by global payments provider Klarna reveals that online SME retailers in the UK might be small in size, but are increasingly open to new technologies and innovation to help drive growth over the next year.

The research  conducted across 100 UK SME decision makers at online retailers in 2019 — shows the UK’s SMEs understand the need to embrace flexibility and innovation. Over the next 12 months they plan to prioritise investing in flexible payment options (49%) and e-commerce capabilities (48%) to meet consumer demand for a frictionless shopping experience.

SMEs eager to cater to the ‘want it now’ generation, but must overcome blockers to new tech adoption

Despite their ambitions, the research shows online retail SMEs face a myriad of challenges preventing them from fully embracing innovation. Over half (53%) said the cost of introducing flexible payment options was the biggest barrier to adoption.

The UK’s current turbulent landscape is also inhibiting tech spend; whilst SME online retailers have budgets set aside for investment in new technologies, almost half (48%) cited uncertainty around Brexit as the main reason they’re currently halting investment. This was followed by not knowing what tech will provide the best return on investment (31%).

But SMEs who let this stand in the way could be damaging their bottom line in the long run, especially given 54% said competition from bigger players and online giants is the biggest external challenge currently impacting them.

Enhanced customer experience is key to boosting loyalty 

Encouragingly, the research shows that online SME retailers are thinking ahead and have plans in place to boost customer experience within their businesses over the next 12 months. As well as recognising the potential of innovative technologies, they also understand the importance of an omnichannel presence, with three quarters (74%) having created some form of physical experience for their customers in the past.

Yet whilst customer loyalty remains stable, the research shows SMEs are losing more customers than they should during the checkout process; one in five (21%) visits result in a dropped basket — leading to a loss of vital revenue.

Luke Griffiths, UK General Manager at Klarna, commented: “Shoppers today demand a frictionless buying experience from browsing to checkout, so it’s encouraging to see that so many online SME retailers are looking to bring new technologies into their businesses to enhance customer experience.

“Introducing new tech, like Klarna’s Pay later and instalment options, is an investment that will pay off in the long run — ultimately leading to greater sales, higher basket value and increased customer loyalty. Being small in size doesn’t have to mean small-picture thinking. SMEs have the advantage of agility, and are often better equipped to do a fast integration than their larger counterparts.”

For more insight on the research, download our full report here:

Lifestyle Outlets welcomes Five Guys to Gloucester Quays

August 14th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Lifestyle Outlets has signed American burger brand Five Guys, famed for its burgers, hot dogs, fries and milkshakes, to join its extensive mix of restaurants in Gloucester Quays.

Founded in Virginia in 1986 and launched into the UK in 2013, the restaurant brand has amassed a loyal fanbase.

The Gloucester Quays store is expected to launch at the end of August creating 35 new positions and offering customers fully customisable burgers and the option to choose from as many of the 15 fresh toppings as they want.

Five Guys prides itself on using high quality, fresh produce all prepared and cooked to order. There are no freezers or microwaves in any Five Guys restaurants.

The new Gloucester Quays restaurant will join two other Five Guys restaurants in the wider region as the brand further extends its footprint and growth across the UK.

Taking a 15-year lease, the restaurant will open in a 2060 sq ft unit at the mall which continues to go from strength-to-strength as it enters its 10th year of trading, welcoming over 7M visitors a year.

Paul Hamilton, Head of Brand at Five Guys said: “Gloucester Quays is a great location to be opening our 95th Five Guys store, with its strong mix of leisure and shopping facilities. The Five Guys Crew look forward to welcoming customers when we open later this month.”

The new signing adds to Gloucester Quays host of leading brands and is a testimony to its successful vision and strategy.

Jason Pullen, Managing Director at Lifestyle Outlets, comments: “We are excited to welcome Five Guys to Gloucester – the brand has a huge following thanks to its amazing food offering and we’re confident that it will quickly establish itself as a must-visit destination.

“Gloucester Quays continues to thrive thanks to its unique offering within the region combining great brands, attractions and amenities that people want to visit – Five Guys perfectly fits with our ethos as we target further growth and success in 2019.”

For more information, please visit or  

PerpetuityARC Training Launches the Linxville Interactive Online Learning Simulation

August 14th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

PerpetuityARC Training, part of Linx International Group, is proud to announce its new interactive and virtual online learning platform – Linxville.

Visually reminiscent of classic computer games such as The Sims and Sim City, Linxville’s first bitesize course to launch is Perimeter Security. It presents the student with a simulated environment containing a number of commercial buildings surrounded by roads, gates, fencing, lighting and security guards, which link back to the topic.

The learner is taken on a guided interactive learning journey around the site and is presented with potential threat vulnerabilities, suitable risk assessments and information on how to handle that threat/vulnerability at each location. Bolstered by the feature of people and traffic movement, the simulation adds ‘real world’ realism to assist learners in the application of their knowledge.

Linx International Group Director, Angus Darroch-Warren states: “Linxville is a highly visual and interactive concept that pushes the frontiers of distance learning. By presenting graphical mapped real-world security scenarios, Linxville delivers an immersive and educational experience that is ideal for those who are new to security or have it under their remit but have limited experience.”

Linxville is designed to grow and be fully inclusive and accessible, as Angus adds: “We will be expanding the simulation sites to include retail, universities and airports all within the Linxville platform. We are also excited by the potential scope for Linxville to be personalised in order to deliver specific security training for organisations.”

The Linxville Perimeter Security online bitesize course is now available here for £9.90 + VAT.

For more information on Linxville and PerpetuityARC Training’s wide range of in-house, classroom, online and bitesize courses please visit:


intu signs up new coffee shop brand BEAR for intu Derby

August 13th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Up-and-coming coffee shop operator BEAR is opening at intu Derby next month as it works with owner intu to launch its first shopping centre location targeting the destination’s high footfall.

The 3,000 sq. ft intu Derby site forms part of BEAR’s plans to launch a number of new venues nationwide.

The independent business was founded in 2014 by entrepreneurs Craig Bunting and Michael Thorley who took inspiration from Australia’s vibrant coffee shop culture to create a new speciality coffee, casual dining and craft cocktail offer for the UK market.

BEAR has three successful Midlands sites in Uttoxeter, Stone and Derby’s Cathedral quarter and opened a fourth in Soho earlier this year.

Craig Bunting, BEAR’s co-founder, said: “We’ve traded successfully on the high street for a few years so we’re excited to be taking space within such a hugely popular shopping centre for the first time. This forms part of our future expansion strategy as we explore how a proudly independent business like BEAR can flourish within a high footfall retail and leisure destination like intu Derby.”

“Our ambition has always been to create something different for the UK by offering sociable spaces with a coffee-focused, all day and evening offer, so we think we can really complement intu Derby’s great mix of brands and provide something very special for its high footfall.”

Nick Round, regional managing director at intu, said: “intu is well placed to help brands expand into the shopping centre market in this way thanks to our national presence and expertise.

“BEAR is an exciting concept that will offer a fantastic new experience for intu Derby’s high footfall of visitors. We can’t wait to see them thrive here.”

TechLED and 4-Wall prepare ASDA head office for Leeds Pride weekend

August 13th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

To demonstrate its support for Leeds Pride ASDA’s head office in Leeds city centre came out once again in the movement’s traditional bright rainbow colours, with the help of TechLED and 4-wall. The parade aims to encourage involvement in the celebrations of the LGBT+ community and helps to create awareness around achievements and legal rights.

To achieve the required look in ‘statement’ high quality as befits the head office of a supermarket giant, 4-Wall’s Ben Perrin specified SGM Q7 wide-angled LED flood fixtures to be distributed evenly under the eaves of the building perimeter. For the building entrance, the tighter beam angle of SGM P5 architectural LED wash lights area, highlighted the features of the entryway.

Perrin’s choice was based upon the two-fold suitability of the products to the job, explaining the SGM fixtures are, “… really wide-angled, really soft, really bright, produce really good pastel colours and because they feature in-built wireless control, they ensure the install and removal was really quick.”

SGM’s Q7 is a multifunction flood light with blinder and strobe capabilities. IP65-rated for outdoor use, it features 2000 RGBW SMD LEDs. Featuring a colour temperature of 5,700K, and a high output of over 25,000 lumens, its wide beam angle of 110-degrees gave a vibrant wash to the ASDA building from the fewest possible fixtures – to further ease the installation time.

The SGM P5 gives the same high-performance RGBW colour, in this instance through a 43-, 21- 15- degree interchangeable lens. Activated by wireless DMX, the colours swirled through a slow rainbow chase.

ASDA’s supportive pigmentation was in place for just three nights, aglow from 9pm to 4am Friday to Sunday. Speed was certainly of the essence for the set-up installation. ASDA has a 3000-strong workforce on site which means access to the building exterior via the car park is fully restricted until after 5pm. Extensive pre-planning by TechLED and the 4-Wall team was key to an unproblematic set up by the installation team.

Perrin reveals, “We’d planned this job really well in advance, so we knew if we hit any problems, we had time to fix things really quickly.”

Within two hours, the lighting fixtures were secured to the building. Two Lumen Radio CRMX transmitters link the wireless LEDs to a Whole Hog 4 positioned in an outside control cabin, completing a fully outdoor installation.

TechLED’s managing director, Gordon Addison, said, “ASDA head office is happy once again with the statement we’ve created on its behalf. They turn to TechLED for a professional job and with 4-Wall we executed this within the very short period of time we are allocated for installation. The quality of the light show stood out as a real statement next to other building trying to achieve the same effect.”

    Inspired Lighting right-hand skyscraper
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