Best Of Altavia Watch 2013 (Retail Innovations) - English version
Best of 2013
Thierry Strickler – Youmna Ovazza
A pivotal year
The advent of
right at the
heart of the
drive to store
payment, a wide
Difficult times for the retail sector
2013: a pivotal year
• Closures, shrinking markets, receiverships/administrations,
cessation of trading
• An economic crisis in Europe since the mid-2000s, a drop in
• Consumers' appetite for e-commerce and collaborative
consumption, penalisation of brick & mortar retailers,which are not
• Nevertheless, physical retail remains the undisputed leader. In
2012, Amazon was the only company in the top 100 worldwide retailers
not to have a physical store (no. 16 and with profit of -€28.8 million)
> A new kind of retail, which is cross-channel and serving
the customer's needs, is springing…
The Virgin Megastore chain
selling cultural and multimedia
products, with 1,000
employees in France, files for
bankruptcy, following years of
On Tuesday, The Phone House announced the
phased closure of all its French stores in 2014.
The economic model is no longer viable for the
group's management. According to the unions,
900–1,200 jobs are at risk
The British company Dixons, the second largest
European consumer household appliances and
electronics retailer, is not ruling out the
possibility of closing the France-based ecommerce site, if it cannot find a buyer.
The e-merchant has drawn the curtains on its
seven Spanish stores
The largest electronics retailer in the world leaves the Old
Continent five years after its arrival. It is selling its shares in its
regional subsidiary to its partner the Carphone Warehouse
Group for 775 million dollars.
The French household goods retailer Cafom cuts
177 jobs, from a workforce of 802 people, at its subsidiary
Habitat, which tipped it into the red during the first six
months of its non-calendar financial year. The group reports
a loss of 4.7 million euros for the period between
1st October 2012 and 31st March 2013.
François-Henri Pinault provides a minor boost by
fixing the company's valuation at 365 million. This
equates to 15% less cash than it has. Despite this, the
stock loses 10% on its first day of trading. At this
level, it is worth 100 million less than its cash...
La Redoute is sold to its managers for
the symbolic price of one euro
Kering re-injects several hundred million euros to
recapitalise La Redoute and Relais Colis just before
the sale. The new owners have a lot of work to do.
La Redoute's turnover has actually been falling by
10% a year since 2010, and could come close to 1
billion euros this year. The company is losing
several tens of millions of euros every year
Target Hackers Stole Encrypted Bank
PINs On Top Of 40 Million Credit Cards
The hackers who attacked Target Corp and
compromised up to 40 million credit cards and
debit cards also managed to steal encrypted
personal identification numbers (PINs), according
to a senior payments executive familiar with the
Relaunches, recoveries and international development
wants to buy the British
House of Fraser chain
Darty buys the
Casino has taken sole control of its
Brazilian partner GPA. And, completed
the acquisition of Monoprix for 1.175
Bestbuy: analysis of a
"Embrace your customers and
stop alienating them." Yes, retail
can survive in the face of ecommerce.
G. Plassat believes that
Carrefour "is getting better"
and "is on the right track"
"We have eased the financial
pressure that was weighing the
company down, because of its high
level of debt, I believe that this has
been the main cause of the group's
problems for the last decade. "
The advent of cross-channel
• Computers, tablets, smartphones, 8 times out of 10 consumers now
sort out their purchases on-line before going to a store
• + 2,500 Drive concepts set up in France, an explosion in Click &
Collect services: 85% of the French population have a real interest in
reserving items on-line and collecting from a store (source Ifop)
• Stores and sales assistants are going digital to help their customers
make choices, improve customer relations and sales promotion, be
geolocated or be able to share on social networks
> The store is no longer the final destination for shopping, but a point
of contact, experience and relations throughout the customer's
Bouygues Telecom launches its
Click and Collect service
Bouygues Telecom customers
are able to reserve their phones
on-line and collect them from a
store, or request direct home
"Our objective is twofold: it is a question of
encouraging people to visit our pointsof-sale as well as giving our sales
advisers more availability in order for
them to be able to promote and recommend
other additional products."
A "Click and Mortar" shopping experience:
the Bonobos Guideshop
This New York-based company was
established on the internet in 2007 based on
the concept of offering men the opportunity to
find and buy trousers that fit them perfectly
(pants thatreally fit ).
In 2012, the company also opened
guideshops in six major US cities.
These guideshops are physical stores,
which allow internet users to try on clothes
before buying them. The customer makes an
appointment with a store. This is exclusively
dedicated to him and he is placed in the
hands of a guide, who will help and advise
General Pants: a cross-channel
and community experience in store
General Pants, a retailer specialising in
clothing, has recently set up interactive
cross-channel devices in ten of its
stores. These use iPads and are
designed to combine
music, fashion and social
networks, with the aim of offering
customers a fun, memorable and, above
all, collaborative shopping experience!
"Community" spirit is strongly highlighted
thanks to "Insta-Opinion", "Our People" and
Kate Spade Saturday
The e-commerce shop window
This is the result of a collaboration between Kate
Spade, PayPal and eBay.
Whatever the time of day, you
shopping in this store thanks to the
touch screen that is integrated into the
It is a case of déjà vu! Yes, but the process differs
from other interactive shop windows. To make a
purchase, you simply choose a product by
“scrolling” using the touch screen. Once you have
chosen one or more products, simply enter your
telephone number to receive a link allowing you to
proceed with the purchase, choose a size or leave
your address, if you need to.
Uniqlo's amazing virtual mirror
Uniqlo is testing an amazing virtual
mirror in its San Francisco store.
This mirror is actually a
screen connected to a touch
On this terminal, the customer chooses
a garment and it appears directly on
him/her in the mirror/screen. He/she
can even e-mail his/her photo wearing
this new garment.
Asda launches click and collect services
at Tube stations
Asda has partnered with Transport for
London to create a unique click and collect
Consumers who order items
before noon will be able to collect
their shopping at one of the
stations after 4pm.
The offer comes as Asda outlines its five
year strategic priorities, which includes a
major push into the London and South East
The click and collect service is integral to
this move. Asda claims it will be increasing
consumers‟ access to its service from 53%
in 2013 to 70% by 2018, with over 1,000
new sites planned, including London
Underground station car parks.
Social networks, between
and drive to store
Retailers are investing in social networks
• In 2013, 1/4 of marketing expenditure in retail was devoted to
social media (according to research by Vanson Bourne)
• 53% of French people are influenced by their friends on Facebook
before buying a product, 89% research opinions on the internet
before making a purchase
(Reevoo/GMI Research study – June 2012)
• But the ROI from social networks is difficult to measure, favourite
networks change and consumers dislike the excessive amount of
marketing on these sites
> Social networks are gradually becoming common practice and
being incorporated into retailers' annual budgets,
like a completely fully-fledged channel
Hertz is now using Twitter
to resolve customer complaints
Hertz is the first car rental company to
integrate social customer service into its
Customers can now resolve
service problems by tweeting at
“It is time to get over this misconception that
brands can ignore tweets about their brand
because social media is relatively
inconsequential in comparison to other
channels like phone or email,” said Joshua
March, CEO of Conversocial, the company
working with Hertz.
Urban Outfitters‟ new social network
offers members deals for data
Teenagers are a tricky bunch for
marketers. While many have the
desirable disposable income that
retailers target, they can be difficult to
market to because they don‟t like giving
out their data.
Urban Outfitters, teenage hipster
retailer heaven, is integrating
marketing and social media
with a new rewards system to
revamp their Urban
On app, thereby killing two
birds with one stone.
Tweets Party: Darty uses Twitter
to reduce the price of its products
In January 2013, Darty created the
Tumblr blog "Merci, fallait pas..."
(Thank you, you shouldn't have ...") ,
which listed all the Twitter users who
shared their Christmas
disappointments between 26th
December and 15th January.
Then, between 15th and 25th
January, these same
internet users were asked to
use the hashtag
#TweetsParty for the
purpose of obtaining 4
discounts with the
publication of 800 tweets.
J.CREW puts its catalogue
In August 2013, 62,870 people were
following the brand's Board.
This means that the images posted by
J.Crew could be seen by „friends‟ who
follow these people on Pinterest. This
is the magic of Discovery
Virality + a multiplier effect: the backing
of a person you know.
Monoprix and Pinterest
join forces to promote designers
For the launch of its 5 designer little black
dresses, the Casino group brand and the
photo-sharing social network launched a
joint campaign on 27th November 2013.
Monoprix customers are invited
to use Pinterest via flashcodes
provided in store on dresses designed
by Anne Valérie Hash, Yiqing Yin, Giles
Deacon, Alexis Mabille and Hussein
Topshop transforms Pinterest
into a searchable gift guide
In anticipation of the holiday
season, Topshop has partnered
with Pinterest to create a campaign that will
centre around customers creating and
submitting inspirational boards for the
In addition to shopping and
pinning items on the fashion
brand‟s website, giant touch
screens and products with a
Pinterest call to action in the
Flagship London and New York
stores will allow customers to pin,
share and shop.
Other stores will have dedicated staff armed
with iPads, who can walk customers through
all elements of the campaign.
The retailer Sport Chek enters
the world of “Y-commerce”
The Canadian sports retailer has just
released two new kind of video
advertisements on YouTube, Google's
The various items worn by the
athletes in the advert are
displayed on the right hand
side of the video, in the form
of icons, along with the words
By clicking on them, the internet user is
taken straight to Sport Chek's ecommerce site and to the product that is
of interest to him/her.
Engage with consum‟actors
• The use of crowdsourcing or co-creation practices is a new
challenge for retailers
• It is a response to consumers' new collaborative and
• Which also allows a brand to cultivate its image and its
customer relations, to gather insights and feedback, to test its
products and services
• It is also an approach that encourages retailers to engage with
their community locally
> Service retailing, which is re-focussing on its local environment
and customer relations
Target creates the participative fashion show
Target has taken the plunge and launched
the participative 3.0 fashion show.
All consumers needed to do was
send a tweet to the brand,
mentioning the product they
wanted to see paraded.
The brand collected all the tweets posted
and chose the products that got the most
It then produced a hundred or so videos on
its YouTube page, where a product is
highlighted by means of a young woman
walking down a white catwalk.
Tesco open up retail space
for community events
UK grocery retailer Tesco is planning to
install a community room in its stores,
starting with the new Tesco Extra in Watford.
The 600 square-foot room will be
available for locals to reserve for
free, and can be used for events
like birthday parties, music
lessons or yoga classes.
The Telegraph reports that this community
room, which is similar to initiatives Tesco
runs in some of its Asia stores, is the first to
be introduced to a UK store. It will include
tea and coffee-making facilities for those
who reserve it.
In Denmark, supermarket crowdsources
suggestions for local products
Co-operative grocery superstore
SuperBrugsen is getting
customers to suggest local
products they would like to see on
the shelves of their nearest store.
Supermarkets are convenient, but often
source their products from multinational
companies and farms in distant
locations, racking up carbon emissions and
squeezing out local competition along the
Danish co-operative grocery
superstore SuperBrugsen now aims to offer
a popular alternative by getting customers to
suggest local products they would like to see
on the shelves of their nearest store.
Walmart makes deliveries to its customers…
using its customers
How can delivery costs be reduced while
offering customers a participative incentive?
Walmart has the answer:
ask your in-store customers to deliver
products ordered on-line in exchange
for discount coupons (for shopping
and fuel) or even direct discounts at
Obviously, only customers living near on-line
shoppers will be asked, the idea being to easily
persuade them to make a short detour in
exchange for a discount on their future purchases.
Carrefour is launching a free product testing service
Attracting customers to stores
and building up a database of
This is the aim of the website launched by
Carrefour, Mon Avis Le Rend Gratuit.
The concept is fairly simple: just visit the
website, register and choose your
The user then receives a number of
credits allowing him/her to obtain free
products in store.
Once in their possession, customers must
fill in a questionnaire and give their opinion
on the aforementioned products in order to
receive more coupons and so on…
Target is connecting its customers to the community
The retail group is using the
creativity of its customers to
produce mobile applications that
enhance the on-line and in-store
And what better way of creating a community of
individuals than open innovation and
crowdfunding? This is what is currently offered
by the Target Cares application, the result of the
Co.Labs & Target Retail Accelerator competition
launched by Target in collaboration with the
magazine Fast Company.
Auchan has launched Quirky – the inventors'
platform, in France
Auchan has further consolidated its
partnership with Quirky. The website,
where amateur inventors post their
ideas, has been launched in France.
A concept that has come from the
United States, Quirky offers to
produce the best ideas for
inventions posted on the
website by anyone “for real”.
The chosen products are offered for
sale in partner stores and the ideas'
originators are paid a percentage on
Community commitment right at
the heart of the offer
From sustainable development to social
• Numerous sustainable development initiatives identified in Europe
and the USA in 2013
• "Generalist" retailers cultivate their image and their product
transparency policy in order to meet consumers' needs for
• Organic specialists are riding high in a dynamic economic sector,
which has recorded growth of +50% in France since 2007
• Atypical business models are enjoying great success by offering
short distribution circuits and high quality local products
> Retailers' community commitment is expanding and lies at the
very heart of their offering
My “personal shopper” is a dietician
Hy Vee, the leading chain in this
field, doubtless because it is based in
Iowa, a Midwestern state that is more
greatly affected by obesity problem than
others, employs 190 dieticians in
its 290 establishments and success
appears to be forthcoming.
A word of warning, this is not exactly a
philanthropic operation (even though some
of the services on offer are free), as it costs
the princely sum of 119 dollars for two
In Sweden, buy screws
and leave with a screwdriver!
The extremely environmentally friendly city of
Malmö in Sweden is home to an unusual
hardware store, the Malmö Hardware Store:
in addition to selling nails, screws, pots of
paint and other consumables, it provides
its customers with small tools
allowing them to carry out some
In concrete terms, equipment is reserved via
Facebook: users register and reserve the
tools they want to borrow… and each time a
reservation is made, a status is displayed on
the store's "wall", thereby generating a great
deal of activity on the social network.
Supermarket for poor families offers
surplus branded goods at cut prices
Community Shop is a supermarket that
sells discounted branded
products that don‟t meet high
street chain standards only to
families receiving government
There are many items that are produced,
but don‟t make it onto the shelves of
supermarkets due to superficial damage,
not meeting aesthetic standards or
falling past their sell by dates.
Created by Company Shop, the project
is supported by brands such as Marks
and Spencer, Tesco, Asda and Tetley.
Tesco to sell „ugly‟ misshapen fruit
at discount to minimise food waste
Tesco has vowed to cease its practice of
consigning old and misshapen fruit to the dustbin
by flogging it at specially discounted
rates in order to cut down waste.
The move would see „old, ugly and misshapen‟
fruit reprieved on specially discounted shelving in
a bid to convince shoppers not to turn their noses
up at produce which is perfectly fine to eat.
The "socialist supermarket"
in New York
Inexpensive, organic and smart: A New York
supermarket managed by its customers has
been thriving for forty years. The concept is to
be rolled out in Paris.
Future volunteers are flooding in,
hoping to do their shopping for 20%
to 40% less than elsewhere.
At the Brooklyn Coop, the 16,200 members
work for 2 hours and 45 minutes for free every
four weeks to keep the store running – 75% of
the workforce are therefore volunteers.
GMOs are now identified by Whole Foods Market
Following the decision for its stores to use
100% renewable energy, the 2008 ban on
products containing bisphenol A, and
even bulk items available for numerous
products (including wine), the brand is
upholding its reputation as a pioneer and,
over the next five years, wants to label
all products containing GMOs,
with a view to ensuring
complete transparency for the
when a retailer creates its own farm
Whole Foods, the grandfather of organic
supermarkets is reinventing mass retailing
with its new establishment and is leading
the consumer down a new path!
The eagerly anticipated store opened its
doors on 17th December 2013, one week
before Christmas Eve.
What makes it so original? It is
the first one in the country to
produce its own vegetables
using a hydroponic greenhouse
installed on the roof of the
a self-powered store
Equipped with solar panels, wind
turbines and a geothermal system,
the new Walgreens drugstore,
which will be opening in Illinois,
will be self-sufficient in terms of
The leading American drugstore
chain, Walgreens (with more than 8,000
branches across the United States), is about to
open a completely new type of outlet.
The Directors of Walgreens are congratulating
themselves on the fact that, “this will be the
first store that will produce a quantity of energy
that is greater than or equal to the energy it
Mobile and payment,
a wide variety of experiments
Mobile & Payment
• With smartphones and tablets, the boundary between in-store and
on-line payment is being broken down
• Mobile payments will amount to $707 billion in 2018 (according to Juniper
• For years, mobile payment has been declared imminent:
contactless payment (NFC), mobile wallets and even digital wallets,
there are numerous solutions
• Bankers, telecoms operators, retailers, Apple, Amazon and startups are aiming to have their solutions widely adopted as quickly as
possible and are seeking to create a genuine usage pattern for
> Mobile payment > CRM > coupons > data > personalisation:
an attractive equation, but not yet proven…
Starbucks is banking on mobile payment
The coffee chain has invested 25 million
dollars in Square, a specialist start-up. In the
United States, 7,000 Starbucks outlets will
authorise payment via its mobile application.
For Starbucks' American
customers with a smartphone and
the Square application, saying
their name will soon be enough to
pay for their drink.
The application created by Jack Dorsey has
concluded an agreement with the Starbucks
food chain, which authorises this payment
process within all the establishments on
Biometric payment tested by Auchan
How can you pay using your fingerprint?
In order to be able to pay for his/her
shopping, the customer must be in
possession of a payment card that is able to
store biometric data.
The card is then placed in a specific
protective case that the customer keeps on
There is no need to get the card
out and enter a code, the
customer places his/her finger in
a fingerprint or biometric
recognition device, the terminal
communicates with the card remotely, using
radio waves that pass between a radio
frequency tag on the terminal and another
incorporated into the smart card, compares
the data and confirms the payment.
Sephora launches its Passbook
Passbook allows you to keep all
your loyalty cards, coupons and
vouchers for Passbook partner
companies in one place.
Passbook application you
will be able to collect
points, use them when
shopping in store and
receive notifications about
The application only works in the
United States at the moment.
Lidl rolls out contactless payment
across its UK stores
Lidl has become the largest
supermarket retailer to enable
NFC payments for purchases
across all 600 of its UK stores.
The systems were installed in July following
a successful pilot earlier on in the year.
Georgina O‟Donnell said: “We decided to
implement contactless in order to speed up
payments and reduce queuing time. We
were also responding to consumer demand
to move with the times and offer a wider
range of payment acceptance options.
Installing the technology across so many
stores was a significant project.”
E.Leclerc enters the world of mobile payment
The company is testing a mobile
application allowing customers to
pay at the checkout using their
Smartphone owners can download an
application known as "Paiement Flash" for
Android (Google) and IOS (Apple) for free.
When making a purchase, the customer will
be able to tell the cashier that he/she wants
to pay using his mobile phone. In this case,
the cashier will provide him/her with a QR
Code (a type of bar code) that will replace
the traditional till receipt.
NFC (near field communication) and a mobile application
are making it easier to shop at Casino
Casino is testing an application using integral
NFC labelling on shelves.
This means that NFC tags are present for every
product on every shelf.
By reading the tag, the mCasino NFC
application (which differs from the
mCasino classical application) allows
the purchase to be recorded, thereby
speeding up the checkout process, as
well as providing access to additional
information, including nutritional
Self-service at Walmart
Tested in 14 stores, a mobile Scan & Go
application, initially for iOS, is
allowing customers to scan
the bar codes on their
products, to transfer the total
cost of purchases to a selfservice terminal and to pay, like
the scanning process used in all major
retail chains, with the benefit for the
customer of avoiding checkout queues
and, what is key for Walmart, a potential
saving valued at several tens of millions