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The Orange Pop team

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This week's feature

Shopping in the funkiest stores around the world

When it comes to shopping, if you’re not pop, concept or smart, you’re not going anywhere fast. Even gift shops are changing their game, luring in their customers with once in a lifetime purchases with limited stock; knick knacks are the new holy grail! Basically, it’s all about the experience; give your customers something to talk about and they’ll arrive in their masses. Want to up your numbers? Throw in a funky decor, an offbeat ambience or a custom shopping trip. When your store resembles an Aladdin’s cave, you’re on the right track.

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The first European NBA cafe has opened its doors

A picture says it all - March 15, 2017

concept-store-nba-barcelona

Coffees, milkshakes and burgers… Welcome to the basketball mecca © NBA Cafe Barcelona

Everyone knows that Spain is a basketball nation. With players like Paul Gascol, Jose Calderon and Serge Ibaka mounting the sport’s ladder faster than anywhere else, scoring coveted places in the NBA, the ultimate win for the game. In a declaration of their love for the sport, it was Barcelona who scored an extra point, opening the first European NBA cafe.

Step inside and you won’t be disappointed. Fan or not, the world famous memorabilia, fan zone area, branded glasses, coasters and menus or round the clock game play is bound to leave you at least a little impressed. Feeling peckish? Try chowing down the NBA way with the Three Point Shot Hummus, the Dunk Carrot or the Alley-Oop Apple Pie!

When it comes to the main event, it’s a similar story. The surround screens broadcast NBA matches the whole day through, showing you the sweetest slam dunks up close and personal. Out of season? Relive basketball’s hall of fame with the greatest wins by Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Tony Parker.

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Where in the world can I buy... ?

The infographic - March 15, 2017

We’re touring the world, one concept store at a time!

infographic-funky-store-concept-store-around-the-world

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3 questions Anne Le Beuz, manager of Orange’s concept store in Paris’ Opéra district

The 3 questions - March 15, 2017

The newest Orange store has opened its doors in Paris’ Opéra district. On the edge of all things digital, the store is the ultimate in the client experience. Its manager, Anne Le Beuz, tells us what gives the store its uniqueness and how it’s managed to make such a success of itself.

Orange Pop: What are the objectives and strengths of the new Orange store?

Anne Le Beuz: We follow a number of objectives at this Orange smart store. On one hand, we want to remain a leader against other operators and on the other, we want to be a major player in the world of digital retail by offering a high quality customer experience. Our main desire is that each client has a highly personalised experience. We don’t force our customer in any particular direction; they’re free to go wherever they want, whenever they want, according to their interests and interests. The essential technical, digital, financial and human resources out there might be seen as redundant, but it’s something that interests our team very much. The possibility for our client to have an “experiential experience”, within any sort of digital domaine, be it the connected home, the quality of sound or their wellness, is what guides our store.

O. Pop: The central idea is clearly to offer your customers a complete experience with as much choice as possible.

 A.L.B.: It’s about innovation in terms of the customer experience at every level, whether we’re talking staging, technology or a one to one purchase. We privilege the customer’s welcome to the store above all else; for us, it’s something essential to their experience. A number of employees are therefore dedicated to this side of things, following processes like taking their phone numbers, asking the customer about their shopping experience and inviting them to take a tour of our 1000m2 shop. Then, according to what each individual wants, a digital expert will come to guide their experiences, helping them to make the most out of their time in the store. We want our clients to be free from any of the sorts of constraints they might have in a different shopping environment. Our advisors are all therefore equipped with individual payment terminals; waiting in line to pay is no longer mandatory. If you’re interested in in a set of loudspeakers, the latest smartwatch, or any of our products, you can try them out for yourselves, too; everything can be tested on site.

O. Pop: You’re combining the digital with the human. Is that it?

A.L.B.: Exactly. We wanted to create a “human” space, centred on how people act. We’ve developed a number of thematics, based around wellbeing, sound, mobile phones and sport. Our approach is modelled on how you might walk around a house. We start in the garden, focusing on sports, then we make our way through to the kitchen, then the lounge and the office. At each stage, digital experts are available to accompany the customers, from the early discovery phase right up to their final purchases. Our digital coaches can demonstrate how a product works, offer their expert advice and bring objects like drones, robots and video games to life. Individual or group workshops are also organised, free of charge, three times a week. Whether it’s helping with configuration, data transfer, repair or troubleshooting, everything is in place to make things run as smoothly as possible. We currently boast the best customer experience rating of any Orange shop in France.

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Anne Le Beuz, the radiant manager of concept store Orange Opéra

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The top 5 bookshops around the world

Gimme 5 - March 15, 2017

No building could house all of the books in the world. And it’s a good thing, too! From one continent to the next, bookshops have stepped up a gear, each one trying to make their store the most unique of its kind. While picking a top shop might be all but impossible, these 5 bookstores are among our favourites:

1. Fangsuo Bookstore, Chengdu, China: Taking form in the basement of a commercial gallery, this 5000m2 bookstore is a stone’s throw from the Daci temple. Taiwanese architect Chu-Chih-Kang took inspiration from the legacy of buddhist monk Xuan Zhang in his designs, designing the bookshop to have the calmness of a hushed cave. The result is a space that is as still as it is mystical; you might just have your next great epiphany!

fangsuo-bookstore-librairire-concept-store

The Fangsuo Bookstore is better than an Aladdin’s cave! © AA13

2. Livraria Lello & Irmao, Porto, Portugal: Constantly named as “the most beautiful bookshop in the world”, Lello & Irmao is as much an homage to reading as it to art deco. With a history dating back to 1906, the store is the real deal and whether you’re taking in the wood sculptures, the red staircase, the stained glass ceiling or the vintage wagons used to transport books, you’re bound to be blown away. And to top it all off? It was used as inspiration for the Harry Potter series, proving Lello & Irmao’s magical appeal!

librairie-portuga-lello-irmao-concept-store

Magic and books: A match made in heaven © Livraria Lello

3. Bart’s Book, Ojai, California: If you fancy picking up a good book on your next road trip, make a pitstop at Bart’s Books. Founded in 1964 by Richard Bartinsdale, the store is open practically 24/7, catering to night owls and early birds alike. What can you find inside? How do thousands of books, hammocks, sofas and a starry ceiling sound to you?!

bart-book-californie-librairie-concept-store

Forget the gold rush, we’re here for the ink! © Bart’s Book

4. Altaïr Libreria, Barcelona, Spain: Smack bang in the heart of the Eixample district, Altaïr Libreria is the biggest travel bookstore across Europe. Want to be whisked away? Between the gaping stone columns, the bookshelves fit to bursting and the squishy sofas, you’re bound to be inspired for your next big adventure!

altair-barcelone-librairie-espagne-concept-store

60,000 titles to take you on your next trip © Altaïr Digital

5. Library of Muyinga, Muyinga, Burundi: This one of a kind bookshop exists as part of a specialist school for deaf children. Thought up by the architects of Brussels cabinet BC Architects, the building was constructed using local materials, involving the neighbouring community. Inside, it’s all lightness and fresh air, with a gigantic knotted hammock bringing the space together. This is the ultimate feat of literature and design.

librairie-concept-store-funky

A nest of books, bricks and beauty! © BC Architects

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How many bricks were used to build the biggest Lego store in the world?

The killer question - March 15, 2017

The children’s toy giant opened its biggest hub in the world a few months ago, choosing London’s Leicester Square as its home. The colour of the shop was as much a talking point as anything else, making a statement from the bright yellow replica of Big Ben through to the matching interior. The shop itself is a tour de force for Lego lovers, taking up a sprawling 1000m2 of space.

For its initiation, the entrance of the shop was transformed into a London underground carriage, packed out with some of Britain’s most famous Lego faces. Another day stuck in rush hour might be the last thing you need but when you’re mingling with the likes of Shakespeare, Robin Hood or Sherlock Holmes, is it really that bad?

The only thing to do is to get counting; the shop totals more than 1.7 million Lego bricks, and they’re just itching to be seen!

lego-store-concept-london

Next stop: The biggest Lego shop in the world! © Lego

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Tracy Zhang, owner of Cat Flower Garden, the first cat café in the world

Who's who - March 15, 2017

19 years ago in Taipei, Taiwan, the first cat café in history opened its doors. Like many other cafes in the country, Cat Flower Garden is a family affair, run in principle by Tracy. This Noah’s Ark is welcome to cats big and small, giving them the space to explore the tables, eat their fill, sleep on a lap or two and generally run the show.

What sets Cat Flower Garden apart from the rest, aside from it being the first of its kind, is that the owners refuse to buy their cats, adopting them from the streets or locals instead. The 15 in-house cats attract customers from miles around but if they want to stay, they have to order any of the café’s specialities, be them cappuccini, cakes, fruit juices or desserts!

While the Cat Flower Garden has been the beating heart of the Zhang family for 20 years, Tracy is dealing with a troubling future. With the rise of the cat came the rise of the cat café and now Taipei is home to more than a dozen other varieties of the place. From Tokyo to New York, by way of Paris, Vienna and Montreal, cats are brightening up cafés across the world!

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Tracy Zhang keeps her lodgers well fed © Clarissa Wei

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Vino and Vinyl: The intoxicating concept store

Music - March 15, 2017

Mad about records? Like the occasional tipple? Vino and Vinyl is a concept store that will be music to your ears!

Created by music lovers Paul and Nichole Killingsworth in 2014, Texan concept Vino and Vinyl started off life as a record store. Not before long, however, their client base encouraged the musical pair to add fine wine to the experience. Paul and Nichole followed step, including tastings to their concept, and the rest is history!

The concept of Vino and Vinyl is as simple as it sounds; check out the records on sale, sample a bottle of plonk with your friends and stay as long as you like. The shop is, at its heart, a wine and records lounge, made for lovers of music and tastings alike. Events like BYOV (Bring Your Own Vinyl) encourage customers to try their hand at DJing for the night, while Club Vino releases a bespoke box of fine wines every month. There’s more to music than just putting on a record, after all. 😉

With a recent expansion to Sugar Land under its belt, the Vino and Vinyl brand now stands at two locations and counting. And who knows, before long, you might be seeing the musical concept store everywhere you go.

Alcohol should be enjoyed responsibly – consume in moderation!

ELSEWHERE FOR YOU
Stories: Sainsbury experiments slow shopping

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Spectacles Store : Snapchat Strikes Back!

Stories - March 15, 2017

Snapchat is full of surprises 🙂
After the awaited launch of its very first pop-up shop right opposite New York’s Apple Store last November, the teens’ favorite social network is back at it again, this time in Los Angeles, California, just a few blocks away from its headquarters.

Snapbot
If you were wondering what they sell in the shop, the answer is “Spectacles”, the name given to their connected glasses which are equipped with a camera that can take circular videos.
Inside the store, no human staff in sight, it’s all about Snapbots which are big yellow vending machines in charge of meeting the clientele’s needs. Although the product is now available to purchase on the Internet – and that Snapbots keep popping up everywhere in the U.S. – the arrival of the store seems to keep people buzzing as much as it did late last year in NYC.


As you can tell by the 24 hours lifespan of a Snap, ephemerality definitely is a keyword for Snap Inc., that’s why the very concept of selling by-products in pop-up stores is both logical and genius.

With the launch of a second shop in less than six months – which should stay open for “a few weeks” – we can’t help but wonder if more one-off openings around the world are in the company’s future. At a time when London has been chosen as the location of their international headquarters, can we expect a Spectacles Store on Oxford Street or Piccadilly Circus?
Only time will tell… and honestly, it’s that very unpredictability that makes Snapchat a landmark of modern pop culture

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IKEA x Colette : When Retail Titans Get Together

Stories - March 16, 2017

One is beloved by families looking for fair prices – the other one is a holy place for trend-setters and hipsters from all over the planet. The latest collab’ that people are talking about is IKEA x Colette!

IKEA 1

Your first reaction might have been “WTF“, but this idea – nothing but its randomness – is one of the most exciting we’ve heard about in a long time.  

Colette is THE Parisian concept-store and although people seem to have forgotten it, IKEA definitely is a concept-store. Granted, not as high-end as what you would expect from this kind of shop, still it shares the same characteristics. Indeed, they sell furnitures and decoration stuff but do not forget about the cafeterias and food shops which exclusively sell Swedish products and that you can only access after going through the path imposed by the space’s architecture.

This collab goes far more than a co-branding operation, and looking at the pictures that are making the rounds on the Internet, it looks like a “best of both worlds” affair.

IKEA 2

Will the collection and its price range be enough to bag Colette a new audience? Will IKEA get some “cool” points out of this?
See you on March 20th a Colette’s and of course on social media.

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Pop-ups Invasion At Festivals

Stories - March 17, 2017

Pop-ups are totally on-trend as of late, you can spot them by the dozen at festivals as well.

At this year’s South By South West Festival (SXSW), it was all about the “In Search Of” store, a pop-up which wouldn’t look out of place in the streets of Brooklyn. With its Boho-Chic vibe, it’s a polymorphic space made of a gift shop, a bar and a concert-ready backyard.
With its bespoke items, clothing and 10$ vinyls, the mood is set for you to feel like it’s Woodstock all over again!

It was created by american network TBS around their dark comedy “Search Party” which focuses on a group of pals who go looking for a missing friend.

In Los Angeles, the Pan-African Film Festival was filled with pop-up which provided amazing shopping experiences shops too, knowing Orange’s creativity, we can’t wait to find out what the polish Orange Warsaw and romanian Summer Well festivals have in store for us.
Find out more about the first one here, and the other one right there.

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“The Village” Takes You Back To The Future

Stories - March 20, 2017

Swiss company VITRA is well known for developing innovative furnitures, it has its very own museum and is never afraid to push the envelope when it comes to designing working environments.
At this year’s EuroShop, they presented the ultimate shopping experience, one which brings the customer and technology closer than ever before.

With « The Village », they came out of the gates with a fictitious shopping space made of five different stores and a plaza. Ranging from automobile, cosmetics and food to fashion and electronics, their goal was to give the consumers an idea of what it would be to shop in the future.

What’s most fascinating with this project is the amount of detail that went into optimizing customer experience : impeccable staff assistance, a lounge area to chill and relax as well as services which appeal to all five senses and others which merges the real and virtual worlds. Edgy!

Still, amidst all the technology, the customer runs the show and human interaction has remained a key factor in the concept’s success.
As « The Village » is only a mock-up for now, we can’t wait to find out when and where a real life version will launch, we’ll be the first in line to witness this seemingly amazing customer experience.

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The next big thing : Star Wars Celebration

Stories - March 21, 2017

As much as the Internet is a great source to acquire rare memorabilia or authentic pieces, some things can only be found within the realm of a store… just ask Star War fans!

With 2017 marking the 40th anniversary of the first ever movie of the saga, PopMinded, a by-products specialist, already has the enthusiastic fanbase buzzing thanks to its upcoming pop-up shop at “Star Wars Celebration”, a convention which will take place in Orlando on April, 13th – 16th.

Developed by Hallmark, PopMinded’s intention is to celebrate the fandom culture with collectibles and special gifts only available at specific events.
Amazing products like Stormtroopers keepsake ornaments and itty bittys will be displayed during the event. The most-wanted feature will probably be blue-suited Snaggletooth of which only a thousand pieces exist: in a very exciting move PopMinded is planning on selling only 250 per day.
Art displays, signings and meet & greets are also expected to take place. Plus, a few celebs are already lined up to appear at the big event, like Riz Ahmed just to name one.

It’s great to see that every aspect of pop-culture can be celebrated through pop-ups. Though at times we wish they were permanent, part of the fun resides in their elusiveness, so we advise you to stay on the lookout for the next best stores… before they fade away.

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See you next week!

To be continued - March 15, 2017

Next Wednesday, celebrities will help us with our shopping… or sort of!

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