We talk a lot about convergence here at LOVE – bike shops as cafes, breweries as hangouts or yoga studios as mindfulness work spaces. As we seek ever more blended ways of living, we look at 3 concepts smashing conventions of food and retail.
1. Market Hall - London
We’ve become familiar with a certain type of ‘zoning’ in our cities; streets primarily made up of shopping retail vs those devoted to food and drink. But we’re seeing a number of instances, in London alone, where these lines are blurring.
One move that caught our eye in the last couple of weeks involved Oxford Street becoming host to London’s biggest indoor food market in 2018. One half of the former BHS store will be given over to Market Hall, the new venture from the restaurateur behind Pitt Cue, Simon Anderson and property investor, Andy Lewis-Pratt. Two other Market Halls will open in Fulham and Victoria during 2018.
Is the disruption we are seeing in traditional retail leading landlords and investors to look for creative ways to fill the inevitable voids? We can’t help thinking that this type of offer on Oxford Street, where food is colonising a prime retail spot, would have been unthinkable 10 years ago.
2. Amazon x Wholefoods
Amazon doesn’t enter any business arena without knowing there is significant scope for major disruption. With fresh groceries being the biggest category of consumer retail spending not yet disrupted by online, we can expect a glimpse of new initiatives from Amazon over the coming 12 months.
Will we see consumers being able to buy directly from farms as farmers set up their own stores through Amazon.com? Or will they be picking up their Amazon goods at Wholefoods and then eating great organic food before they go home?
As the trend towards online shopping for groceries continues, Amazon will be well placed to reap the rewards in the US. You can’t help thinking they might be eyeing up the UK next.
3. HEMA – Blurring Supermarket & Restaurant
HEMA is Alibaba’s version of Amazon Go, where consumers shop using Alipay – Alibaba’s own cashless transaction system. HEMA’s own shopping app means you can start shopping before you visit the store or not go at all by selecting home delivery.
The real innovation for us is that HEMA have created a dine-in offer - pick your own fresh shellfish, amongst other items, and have it cooked up right in front of you.
While you’re eating in the restaurant area on site, the rest of your shopping is being delivered home for you within 30 minutes.
For us this brings a new dimension to the supermarket. Behave like a food market, and give customers a reason to visit your store rather than just order from home. Despite all the new tech, HEMA clearly realises that a physical connection with their audience is still going to be important in the future.
This issue of SEEN has been compiled by LOVE’s Creative Director – 3D & Interiors, Russell Ashdown. If you’d like to say hello or ask any questions, then get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.