Retail Innovations 9: Global Retail Trends 2013 Part 8—Retailvention/Verticality

How do you think about an existing business in a completely different way, shattering the tried and true methods of distribution and selling? How do you build and take a business directly to the customer, by-passing traditional selling channels? Cases in retailvention and verticality are not limited to the old ways of thinking but break new ground in creating new business models. From savvy start-ups to some of the world’s largest companies, these new models force one to rethink the very nature of what retailing can be. Let’s take a look at two cases on retailvention/verticality from Retail Innovations 9.

Chilli Beans (Brazil – Sao Paulo)

Imagine a place where you can try a large variety of Chilli Beans sunglasses. Now imagine that same place, adding great music, the possibility to interact with other cities and cultures all around the world, and at the same time share the experience with your friends.

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The concept store showcases the total brand and offers exclusive access to all new and special edition Chilli Beans products, ranging from sunglasses to bikes and skateboards to handmade electric guitars.

Customers are encouraged to experiment with the products and to live the Chilli Beans experience while sharing it with their friends on social networks.
The flagship hosts various events every Saturday in a designated area and offers customers the convenience of not having to leave the store with its in-store Coffee Suplicy kiosk.


Chilli Beans introduced the fast fashion model to the sunglass world by launching a new collection every 15 days. This new collection is themed and often in partnership with a designer or other famous brand, and each release has a special display at the store. The Chilli Beans brand is based on a dynamic concept and connection with the customer. Chilli Beans has over one million followers on Facebook and, of course, the experience at the flagship can be shared live on any social network.

Fun and interactivity are the most striking features of the Chilli Beans flagship. Contact with a wide variety of product and sharing with friends while remaining in a store without the feeling of being in a store make the experience something memorable.


With a wide variety of sunglasses and the opportunity to buy personalized glasses while exploring other products, Chilli Beans cannot be described as just a simple store. Customers feel comfortable coming back to the store and trying new products. The store is full of interesting news and products, the environment is laid-back, and customers are welcomed to discover even more products and to enjoy the brand.


Nespresso Regent Street (UK – London)

The new concept focuses on telling its brand story by providing a tailored, educational and experimental experience for consumers where they can try out the different blends and live the experience.

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Nespresso has identified the development of the British consumer (in particular the Londoner) from coffee drinker to coffee connoisseur. They have used this increasingly discerning palate as inspiration for the customer experience in-store. The London flagship boutique offers customers a multi-sensorial space where they can discover the entire product range while enhancing consumer perceptions of the brand’s coffee expertise.

Nespresso has created a convincing and enticing brand experience around the tiny core product of a coffee capsule. The visual merchandising is impeccable and the service of an equally high standard, achieved through Nespresso’s decision to recruit its staff from hospitality backgrounds rather than retail.

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The different elements of the store work together to provide the consumer with a uniquely personalized experience, featuring a number of different areas. The Tasting Area, for example, is managed by a team of coffee specialists to guide customer tastings. The store also makes use of video walls and tablets to provide a huge visual impact and allow for deeper customer engagement with the brand and its products.

Nespresso has shown that even the smallest product can be put on a pedestal. They have created a successful store format that is an immersive experience, educating the consumer and increasing engagement with the brand off the back of a coffee capsule.

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Retailers are finding new ways to delight their customers. The idea of the store goes beyond simple merchandising to creating an engaging and memorable experience for customers. In the cases above we have seen two ways of doing this: 1. create a social and relaxing environment that encourages customers to play and have fun with products, and 2. turn something simple into a fascinating customer experience.

About Retail Innovations 9

RI9 - imageRetail lnnovations 9 is J.C. Williams Group’s and Ebeltoft Group’s ( latest compilation of leading edge innovation, highlighting individual ideas and the key themes that emerge from studying the whole.

This edition features 54 of the best innovation cases from 23 countries and pinpoints the nine global innovation trends.

To obtain a copy of this publication, click here.


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