Last week, Amazon opened its first UK pop-up shop to showcase its fashion brand. A few of the Chameleon team had to pay a visit for research purposes, of course. Beth and Theresa were so committed to their research, they even had their hair and makeup done…
We headed over to Baker Street and wandered down the road towards the store, which was hard to miss. Amazon’s smile logo and the #AFHosts hashtag were dotted around the outside of the shop windows so visitors could have a cheeky peek first before entering.
We went on a particularly dreary day, which is pretty standard for England, but you would expect it to have an impact on footfall which often is the case for traditional high street retailers. However, when we arrived the venue was filled with people browsing through items and checking out what was on offer.
The set-up of the pop-up store was open, spacious and bright. The complete opposite of what you’d expect in stores like Hollister. Here’s a quick video of what it looked like:
One of the most interesting parts of the pop-up we thought was the experiences that were on offer throughout the week from yoga sessions to beauty trends panel discussions. This unique approach to the retail experience is becoming a popular tactic to encourage consumers to visit stores. With articles in the news relentlessly discussing the ‘death of the high street’, Amazon clearly knew it had to offer something unique if they wanted people to visit their store.
For me, it’s the opportunity to take a Insta-worthy photo.
However, probably the most unique aspect of the store was that there were no checkouts. Instead, they had staff with tablets to assist with purchasing and would retrieve fresh items from the stock room downstairs for people. The products on the shelves also had barcodes (featuring the Amazon smile), which users could scan with their Amazon app to purchase the item for it to be delivered to their chosen address, or saved in their wishlist for later.
Overall, it was an interesting experience and quite a clever approach from Amazon in raising awareness of its fashion brand. There was plenty of chatter about the store on social media and in the press, so it definitely grabbed people’s attention. Now, it’ll be a case of keeping an eye out for the next brand that attempts to launch a pop-up store and how they’ll differentiate themselves to attract visitors.