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Published: 13 Nov 2013

L’Oreal’s Intelligent Subway Vending, NYC


French beauty brand L’Oreal Paris and New York City Subway have unveiled the Intelligent Color Experience – a customisation concept enticingly billed as the subway’s first ever intelligent vending experience.

Specifically conceived to woo consumers in transit, the Intelligent Color Experience is a multi-media mix of advertising and tech-fuelled retailing, offering a selection of outfit-matching beauty products. The machine was launched on November 4 in Manhattan’s Bryant Park station (Bryant Park being the traditional location for New York’s biannual Fashion Weeks).

The machine’s three-step process is completed in just two minutes. First, a scanning mirror detects the most prominent colours in the user’s outfit (also flagging up related palettes). It then recommends suitable L'Oreal Paris products, such as eye shadows, nail varnishes and lipsticks. The final step allows users to buy the recommended items on the spot. The machine stocks up to 700 products available to purchase and take away immediately.  

The concept incorporates several retail trends that are currently gaining traction. These include the growing consumer desire for customisation (see Product Hubs: Experimentation & Co-Creation in the Future of the Store Industry Trend), and more sophisticated use of human recognition systems (see Data Tracking & Response-Monitoring).

For more on retailing to consumers on the go, see Uniqlo’s Union Square station store in Pop-Ups Round-Up, NYC, Benefit’s Automated Beauty Kiosk, and Nomadic Retailing in our Anywhere Retailing Industry Trend. For more on vending, see Vend: New-Generation Retail Automation.

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