Grosvenor blends digital and physical fashion retail with innovative launch in Sweden

today Oct 24, 2019
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UK-based Grosvenor may be best known as a landlord in vast swathes of London’s West End, but it also has international operations and on Thursday it said that one of these has launched a ’bricks-meets-clicks’ concept, called EWAY. Here, customers can try on the clothes they’ve ordered and send them back quickly if they’re not right.

Grosvenor's new EWAY concept

And the longer-term ambition is for it to predict demand so that items will be there before customers order them, meaning they can pick them up extra-fast.

It’s operating across the firm’s Swedish retail portfolio and will see an “increased flow and efficiency of e-commerce”, making the process “more sustainable”. It also enhances the physical retail offering for customers, we’re told.

It’s been launched by Grosvenor Europe as a “high-quality e-commerce packaging and service provider, which combines e- and physical commerce in one offering.”

In the specially-designed EWAY unit, visitors can collect packages, try on the clothes they’ve ordered and take advantage of simplified returns with packaging materials provided, as well as recycling old packaging material.

It’s perhaps significant that it’s happening in Sweden, which is one of Europe’s more eco-focused markets and where major retail names such as Ikea and H&M are also taking deep dives into sustainability.

The concept, which also provides a flexible working space “where customers can use seating areas and wifi to run business activities or to charge phones, is set to enhance the retail service provided to customers across our Swedish retail portfolio,” the company said.

The new e-commerce service has premiered in Burlöv Centre in Malmö and will be rolled out to Skärholmen and Väsby Centrums next year. It was developed via a collaboration with LogTrade Technology. 

Grosvenor Europe’s Nordics director Carl Strufve said it “builds a bridge between physical commerce and e-commerce and demonstrates innovation in adapting to retail trends. The concept offers greater convenience than traditional pick-up points, such as lockers, as it enables customers to try [on], and return items they don’t want to keep, simplifying the returns process. The multi-purpose use of the space, as a co-working space, will also strengthen the trading area of the centre.”

And it’s a proactive initiative rather than just being reactive with Sara Ali, COO and Innovation Manager of LogTrade Technology, saying the ambition for EWAY is for it “to act as a deferred warehouse where e-retailers can deliver products in advance, ahead of expected demand increases, so that customers can pick up an order even just minutes after it is placed. It increases flow and efficiency of retail logistics and supports Grosvenor’s drive to enhance the sustainability of its portfolio.”

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