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Welcome to a new week. The US Open tennis tournament is set to get underway today in New York, making Queens the center of the athletic and cultural world for the next two weeks. The competition is always riveting, but we’re just as interested in the brand activations. In one of the more intriguing collabs this year, footwear brand Rothy’s is launching a new collection made from recycled Evian water bottles collected at last year’s US Open. Now that's circular.
Here’s a look at the rest of this week’s happenings in ecommerce:
NACDS Total Store Expo: Chain drug store retailers and suppliers meet in Boston for a mix of tactical and strategic meetings. The Current is providing coverage live from the event, including recaps of sessions on supply chain and the economy. (August 29)
Home Delivery World: Retail logistics leaders gather in Philadelphia for a conference and exhibition covering all things last-mile. The conference will feature speakers from American Eagle Outfitters, Ulta Beauty, Walmart and Kroger. (August 31-Sept. 1)
A new month brings a fresh cycle of economic data releases. The focus of the federal government this week is on jobs, with the US Labor Department reporting job openings on August 30, and the monthly report on new jobs, including the unemployment rate, arriving Friday. These will be crucial measures of economic health at a time when a strong job market has been a key signal that the US is not in a recession, despite inflation.
Here’s a look at the publicly-traded retail, CPG and ecommerce companies reporting earnings this week:
- Monday, August 29: Pinduoduo
- Tuesday, August 30: Best Buy, PVH Corp., Chewy.
- Wednesday, August 31: G-III Apparel, Vera Bradley, Designer Brands, Express.
- Thursday, September 1: Lululemon, Campbell Soup, Hormel Foods, Tillys, Signet Jewelers
Trending in Economy
The virtual store was built by Emperia.
As it opens a new boutique, Italian women’s fashion brand Pinko is opening a virtual store that is designed to create a personalized experience for customers to browse handbags digitally.
Pinko's virtual shopping experience powered by the platform Emperia, which allows users to access metaverse environments through commonly-used devices such as laptops and mobile phones. The launch of the store, which is dubbed Pinko Galleria, is timed with the opening of the brand’s boutique in the exclusive Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan.
The store has exclusive offerings that allow the brand to cross the physical and digital worlds:
- New handbags that are specifically designed for the experience, and displayed through 3D modeling that offers education and
- NFTs from Pinko called Meta Love Bags.
- Communities for women that are designed for empowerment and independence.
The opening comes on the heels of last week’s closing of a $10 million Series A investment round for Emperia, which has also worked with Bloomingdale’s and Dior. Founded in 2019 by fashion and retail expert Olga Dogadkina and VR technologist Simonas Holcmann, Emperia’s platform provides the technology and visual infrastructure that architect the virtual stores, as well as data and analytics that provides key insights to retailers about how shoppers interact with the store and what is needed to personalize experiences.
The virtual store is designed to complement the physical store. It presents new opportunities for brand-building that is untethered from physical parameters. It also makes the exclusive more accessible. Shoppers anywhere in the world can now enter the store, even as the physical location is only in Milan.
“The new experience allows audiences, worldwide, to experience the unique, bold design that Pinko is so well-known for, wherever they choose to,” says Olga Dogadkina, Co-founder & CEO at Emperia, in a statement. “Our 3D technology ensures a high merchandise-viewing quality, which complements its real-life twin product, to the smallest detail, allowing Pinko to present and directly-sell its exclusive capsule collection in a way that simulates a realistic shopping experience.”
Inside the virtual store, shoppers have the opportunity to browse and navigate through a space that is laid out and merchandised in 3D with all the hallmarks of a Pinko physical store, right down to a full layout of the brand's signature pink. They’re also greeted by music. A sign that the store is not in the physical world arrives upon turning toward the front. Look out the window, and a shopper will find that they are high above the clouds.
That’s a new way to elevate the experience.
Here are more photos of the Pinko virtual store:
Handbags in Pinko's virtual store. (Courtesy photo)
Hands holding handbags. (Courtesy photo)
NFTs in Pinko's virtual store. (courtesy photo)
Looking out the window at Pinko's virtual store.