June saw the arrival of True Religion’s new concept store in Carnaby Street, London. The store aims to ‘exemplify phygital’ – offering a personalised experience by enhancing the physical space with digital advancements. Our research suggests that, whilst there’s lots of love for the store, it isn’t yet coming from digital enrichment…
Strong first impressions – premium yet welcoming
The clean lines, bright lighting and wood-panelled interior all helped to project the premium, cool feel the brand is associated with. This is balanced with welcoming staff members – engaging with customers on entry and making them feel instantly at home with their friendly, approachable style.
Design invites product exploration
The inclusion of a ‘denim bar’ helps the store to avoid feeling too much like a showroom. It encourages shoppers to touch, pick up and explore the product – without feeling like they’re messing up a tricky-to-use folded jeans display! Staff feel comfortable using it – it provides a more interactive springboard from which to talk about products and demonstrate their expertise.
But digital enhancements disjointed
Staff are equipped with Apple watches and tablets to access customers’ purchase records and offer personalised recommendations. However, this experience is reliant on staff promoting it – which they weren’t forthcoming in showcasing. When used, tech instead felt disjointed and an unnatural part of the experience – customers wanting natural interaction from staff rather than waiting for them to look up past details. Whilst digital screens showcase the brand’s latest ad campaigns in store, there’s no interactive element to engage shoppers and their high positioning means they’re naturally missed.
All in all there’s lots of love towards the new True Religion store experience but just not the digital part.