It’s no secret that AI is going to change the way we shop, but Westfield are transporting us straight to the future with the UK’s first-ever Trending Store, an AI powered fashion boutique that stocks trends in real time based on what’s trending on social media.
Are you forever trying to hunt down the latest fashion trends on social media? Are you always a little late to the sartorial party? Well, look no further. This one-of-a-kind concept store has partnered with AI trend experts, NextAtlas, to ensure you can wear your favourite fashion-forward looks in real time.
The power behind the technology means NextAtlas can identify the next big trends by analysing both visual and text content from social media sources meaning you’ll be able to rock the latest trends before the rest of the world has caught on. Phew. This trend data is then fed into a team of stylists who will hunt down the items from retailers in Westfield from Topshop to Stuart Weitzman.
The store is split up into categories based on what’s trending such as ‘romantic heroines’ for the floral, bohemian style dresses overtaking our social media feeds, or ‘dystopian fashionistas’ for those drawing inspiration from their favourite Netflix series. They even have hashtags to accompany the trend.
With social media being a key driver of all our impulsive payday purchases, the Trending Store is at the forefront of sustainable innovation. There’s no denying it’s a very cool, in-store shopping experience – but will it work?
In order to stay relevant and continue attracting customers, retailers have to leverage technology and drive forward the consumer experience. It’s fast, efficient and provides access to fashion-forward looks without having to trawl through Instagram for hours on end. Tick, tick, tick. But with stock being replaced every single day based on what’s trending, is this encouraging our detrimental culture of throwaway, fast fashion? Absolutely.
Other high street retailers have experimented with high-tech concept stores. At Zara Westfield flagship, shoppers could swipe their garments across a floor-to-ceiling mirror to see a hologram-style image of what they’d look like in the outfit, and robots replaced humans at the online-order collection points. Meanwhile, Uniqlo created ‘magic mirrors’ where consumers can virtually try items on by selecting the item, colour and size off an iPad and simply walking in front of the mirror.
Only time will tell if the Trending Store concept evolves, but for now it has our full attention – and pay check.
The Trending Store will be open from Wednesday 3rd July – Sunday 7th July from 12pm to 8pm. all proceeds from the store will be going to Save the Children, Westfield’s charity partner.