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Comptoir des Cotonniers opens 10,000 ‘boutiques’ across France as it turns adverts and bus stops into virtual shops

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French fashion retailer Comptoir des Cotonniers is using mobile to launch “10,000 boutiques” across France, turning billboards, bus stops, print adverts and even TV adverts into points of purchase following the adoption of retail app PowaTag.

Comptoir des Cotonniers is dubbing its new marketing push as “Fast Shopping” using the app to scan barcodes on ads or to listen, Shazam-like, to broadcast ads and allow consumers to buy. Shoppers can use PowaTag to scan special tags and buy the latest fashions from Comptoir des Cotonniers anytime, anywhere in single click. After an initial three-minute set up time, purchases can be completed in seconds, with home delivery within 48 hours.

Comptoir des Cotonniers, part of the one of the world’s fastest growing retail groups, Fast Retailing, worked with partners including leading outdoor advertising specialist JCDecaux, telecom company SFR Régie, transport app provider Uber, and advertising agency Marcel to create the ‘boutiques’, which take the form of everything from posters and bus stops to transports, coffe tables, notebooks and tote bags.

Nancy Pedot, CEO of Comptoir des Cotonniers and Princesse tam.tam, explains: “As a leading fashion retailer, this is exactly the kind of innovation that we look for at Comptoir des Cotonniers utilizing technology to better meet the needs of our customers. We are proud to redefine what multi-channel means for the retail industry.”

Pedot went on to say that, with 10% of the retailer’s traffic already coming from mobile, this was a logical step. It also helps to cement the link between online and real world stores without cannibalizing either. Only certain lines will be available on the ‘boutiques’ and some special goods only available through that channel. This way we give customers the brand experience and instant shopping but still encourage them to come into the stores to browse and buy other lines.

The move by Comptoir des Cotonniers marks the first brand signed up to PowaTag to stick its head above the parapet. Along with Comptoir des Cotonniers, PowaTag has partnered with more than 475 global brands and retailers, with hundreds more in progress. Several leading brands attended for today’s global showcase of the transformational technology.

Retail brands in the UK who are at advanced stages of planning roll outs using PowaTag are Waitrose, Argos, Laura Ashley, Screwfix and Universal Music. Waitrose is working with IBM on a range of in store and mobile initiatives and is partnering with Powa. Plans for using PowaTags are at an advanced stage with the retailer, with a Powa source saying that they are days away from board approval.

The situation is similar at Argos. Both Argos and Waitrose are likely to roll out Powa-based marketing solutions akin to Comptoir des Cotonniers in time for the Christmas marketing push.

Laura Ashely is expected to announce what it is doing in the next six to eight weeks, said the source.

Retailers pay a fixed fee of 25p pre transaction up to £250 then 50p for transactions above that. They get to share the data of who buys what with Powa, but only Powa holds all the data on who scanned what and didn’t buy – something that may stick in the craw of some retailers, but is the real value to Powa of the service.

Dan Wagner, CEO of Powa Technologies, comments: “The Fast Shopping campaign is an exciting and innovative demonstration of Comptoir des Cotonniers’ commitment to its customers. We are excited to help one of the world’s leading fashion retailers bring in an unrivalled level of buying freedom with the first full online and offline rollout of PowaTag.

“The technology will play a vital role in enabling the company to meet the growing demands from shoppers with busy lives wanting to purchase in a multi-channel environment. With zero risk and zero up-front costs for retailer and consumer alike, PowaTag is a winning formula to engage with customers to both maximize footfall in-store and grow revenues online through fast, simple transactions.

“It is companies like Comptoir des Cotonniers that have implemented the rapid adoption and deployment of innovative solutions that will be the ones to come out on top in the new customer-focused paradigm.”

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