Situ Live has unveiled its vision of the future of retail at Westfield London as its first venue opened to the public this week.
Shoppers visiting what Situ is calling a “discovery playhouse” will browse 7,500 sq ft of retail space where the emphasis is on experiences, discovering and trying out branded products for themselves. If they decide to buy a brand’s products, they can do so through any retailer they like.
Visitors can walk through a fully working kitchen at the site – testing out its appliances and trying food and drink – and on through a connected lounge, a home gym fitness zone, areas for sleep, wellbeing and mobile working. Transport, travel, gaming and education technology also feature. A central stage with seating will host live performances, guest appearances and workshops.
Warren Richmond, chief executive of Situ Live, says: “Put simply, the retail landscape needs to be transformed and that is what we are doing with the launch of Situ Live.”
He adds: “Both the retail and events industries have been hit hard by the pandemic, but if 2020 taught us anything it’s the value of human connection and social experiences. We believe that in the post-pandemic world people are looking to retail, leisure and event experiences to create unique and lasting memories which makes now the perfect time to launch Situ Live.”
Some 75 leading brands, from Bosch, Sonos, Bang & Olufsen through to NordicTrack, Fitbit, and Maserati are working with Situ Live from the start. Innovations such as Coravin’s wine preservation system and Perry eHopper’s folding lightweight e-bike, will be in the spotlight.
The store has no tills or sales-focused staff, so when visitors find something they like they can scan a QR code to add it to their Situ Live favourites, enabling them to compare prices and buy in their own time, from the retailer of their choice. The site also promises to be a safe retail destination, featuring air filtration systems and screen protectors.
“Brands need to provide a space for consumers to understand how products work and how they may fit into and benefit their lives, whilst giving them the choice of where, when and how to buy the product,” says Richmond. “However traditional retail makes creating a space like this cost prohibitive for many brands. With Situ Live we remove those barriers by fundamentally changing the commercial retail model.
“Situ Live will be the only venue in the retail landscape to encourage you to buy from other retailers. Our aim is to continuously pioneer retail firsts, with brands and shoppers at the heart of what we do and place the UK back on the global map for simple retail excellence and business model innovation. With the backing of leaders from some amazing, forward- thinking, global brands as well as founders of new start-up and innovator brands, the UK can lead the charge in the retail revolution.”
The branded products on offer will change constantly, and Situ Live aims to become the go-to destination in Westfield London this Christmas, where it is located in the new Innovation Alley, before expanding further afield in 2022. The retail space, whose theatres and live demo areas are designed by creative experience agency Bearded Kitten, is supported by a Situ Live website featuring lifestyle editorial.
Creative experience agency Bearded Kitten has designed Situ Live’s lifestyle theatres and live demo areas.