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Brief Published: 18 Jul 2019

Westfield AI Trending Store Affirms Data-Reflexive Flagships

Westfield Trending Store

Designed to satisfy the insatiable consumer appetite for commerce with an ‘of the moment’ edge, Australian mall giant Westfield’s recent pop-up store in its West London destination was dedicated entirely to fashion items trending on social media. Far from being a one-off, it reveals a growing trend for data-reflexive retail flagships.

Translating social media trends for the physical space, the data-powered pop-up (open from July 3-7) only sold the top 100 fashion items trending that day online. The concept was devised with Italy/UK-based artificial intelligence specialist Nextatlas, which monitors emerging consumer trends and cultural movements. Each morning, a team of fashion stylists plugged into Nextatlas's database to gather corresponding products (womenswear, menswear and accessories) from the shopping centre’s stores.

It also used the AI to create trending groups. The most on-trend were ‘romantic heroines’ (voluminous dresses with florals and maximalist patterns) and ‘dystopian fashionistas’ (subversive, street-activism-based garments and functional pieces like masks and even respirators, championed by fans of TV shows such as The Handmaid’s Tale).

The initiative highlights a growing trend for physical retail spaces mainstreaming an early-adopter mentality, emphasising curatorial speed. 

Nike’s Nike Live store in LA, launched in July 2018, already adheres to this tactic, with an e-tail store that responds to local tastes. It uses real-time data to stock the shop bi-weekly – pulling from patterns in the buying, browsing and events-based sections of its NikePlus app. The info feeds into city-specific sneakers and apparel, transcending global priorities.

Amazon is also trading on what’s trending with its Manhattan Amazon 4-star store, which opened in late 2018. Using its vast data points regarding what’s trending and being bought (and liked) recently, it only sells merchandise that’s been rated four stars or more, is a top seller, or has been added to its e-commerce site in the past three months. Digital price tags display online reviews and prices mirroring those on the website.