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Brief Published: 26 Sep 2013

New Tech Retail: Dixons' Urban Toy Store


UK electronics specialist Dixons Retail is aiming to boost business by injecting more playfulness and a greater level of brand transparency into its new store formats.

Dubbed ‘Store of the Future’, the new concept (the first of which is being trialled in Bluewater shopping centre, Southern England) has been described by the retailer as an “urban toy store” and encourages consumers to spend time experimenting with technology. Stay & Play tables invite shoppers to sit down, hang up their shopping bags and try out products, while free group tutorials and one-on-one sessions with expert associates in its “Knowhow/Showhow” area that borrow from the influential Apple Genius Bar model help to demystify technology.

The decluttered, flexible space – complete with movable walls and play tables on wheels – can be easily reconfigured for events and launches.

Dixons hopes the upgraded store will attract more of the shopping mall’s fashion-focused shoppers (60% of whom are women) after in-depth research showed the brand needed to do more to attract female and younger, tech-savvy customers. See Female-Focused Retailing for more.

Dixons’ Tech-Savvy Airport Concept Shop at Gatwick served as a prototype for the concept, which will now be rolled out to other stores.

This emphasis on recreation and exploration is echoed at mobile phone retailer One2free’s Hong Kong store, which includes zones dedicated to educating and entertaining millennials. For more on the benefits of product exploration and customer education, see The Rise of Edutainment and Show & Tell Retail. See also Super-Service for more on the new breed of expert sales staff. For more on store concepts for tech retailing, see Tech Boutiques.