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Capgemini, SharpEnd and The Drum are teaming up to open CornerShop, a physical space which will give marketers an insight into the future of retail innovation.

Occupying the ground floor of The Drum Labs in London, CornerShop has been designed as a live testing environment for brands, retailers and shoppers to get hands-on with the latest technologies that reimagine the shopping experience across food and drink, cosmetics and fashion. Consumers will be able to purchase items in-store as well.

What is CornerShop?

  • Britain's battered physical retailers are the subject of a new initiative which seeks to bring the humble 'corner shop' into the 21st century with a prototype store of the future.

  • CornerShop is being led by Capgemini Event, the innovation and design brand of Capgemini Group, to lend a helping hand to retailers and brands at a time of need to understand how digital innovation and new technologies can better serve the customer and streamline operations.

  • Offering a chance for stay at home consumers to rediscover the joys of window shopping, not Windows shopping, the initiative will explore four key aspects of the bricks and mortar experience, namely: the automated store, the augmented store, the purposeful store and the personalized store.

  • Having set foot inside customers will be free to peruse a range of curated products to purchase at their leisure while also sampling the latest technologies for a fully personalised experience.

  • Located within The Drum Labs, a three-storey innovation centre in Shoreditch, London, the space will be designed from the ground up to ensure that consumers, brands and retailers can all turn the corner together.

  • At the helm of this retailing renaissance is Steve Hewett, head of retail customer experience at Capgemini Invent, who said: “... the events of the past year have radically escalated retailers’ needs to redefine the purpose and experience of the store and its connection to the ever-changing digital ecosystem that customers engage and shop within. 

  • "This means it’s never been more critical to build the digital capabilities required to underpin a new shopping reality. Providing a glimpse at what retail of tomorrow will be, CornerShop has been specially designed to bring to life the most innovative technologies and how they can blend the physical and digital to create a seamless, differentiated in-store experience.”

  • Gordon Young, founder of The Drum, added: “The pandemic has thrown the high street into crisis. Against the odds, we've launched CornerShop in the midst of lockdown to prove to brands and retailers that there are inspiring solutions available."

A new shopping experience

  • At the heart of the CornerShop experience is a custom mobile app which will serve as a 'remote control' to guide visitors to the different products and experiences on offer using augmented reality, computer vision and light detection and ranging technology to accurately track customers in three dimensions.

  • Among the cutting edge concepts, visitors can expect to encounter is virtual try-on technology - a full-length smart mirror upon which chosen garments can be mapped.

  • Technology's ability to respect individuality is demonstrated with purposeful shopping guidance, a combination of connected packaging, AR and digital screens capable of directing customers to their chosen preferences.

  • Underpinning the futuristic 'sentient store' is a commitment to strong data governance and security via a central data platform which will gather anonymous tracking data to further improve the experience.