AMERICAS OLDEST MALL IS SAVED BY TRANSFORMING IT INTO 48 COZY LOW-COST MICRO-APARTMENTS

Ever wanted to be locked in a shopping mall when you were a kid? Well, now you can LIVE in one if you’re based in Rhode Island. The Arcade providence, America’s first indoor shopping mall that was build in 1828, has been repurposed into a residential structure with 48 low-cost micro-lofts since it fell into decline in the late 20th century. The mall was transformed at a cost of $7 million by Northeast Collaborative Architects

Starting at $550 a month, residents can rent a one-bedroom unit from 225-800 sq. ft. Each apartment contains a kitchen, full bath with shower, built-in beds, seating and storage. There are no stoves in the units as they are designed for the people who lead busy lifestyles but the tenants can eat at freshly designed restaurants on the ground floor and enjoy vibrant evenings in a shared lounge. There’s also a shared laundry facility and a bike storage room as well as parking garage across the street. Would you live in such an apartment?

BUILT IN 1828, AMERICA’S OLDEST SHOPPING MALL IN RHODE ISLAND WAS STRUGGLING TO FILL ITS COMMERCIAL SPACES AND WAS DOOMED TO BE CLOSED

BUT THEN NORTHEAST COLLABORATIVE ARCHITECTS CAME ALONG AND TRANSFORMED IT INTO A RESIDENTIAL SPACE AT A COST OF $7 MILLION

THE HISTORIC BUILDING NOW HAS 48 LOW-COST MICRO-LOFTS

STARTING AT $550 A MONTH, RESIDENTS CAN RENT A ONE-BEDROOM UNIT FROM 225-800 SQ. FT.

THE APARTMENTS ARE BASED ON THE TOP TWO LEVELS

THERE ARE NO STOVES IN THE UNITS AS THEY ARE DESIGNED FOR THE PEOPLE WHO LEAD BUSY LIFESTYLES

BUT THE FLATS CONTAIN FULL BATH WITH SHOWER

AND THEY HAVE COZY BEDROOMS WITH BUILT-IN BEDS

AS WELL AS TINY LIVING ROOMS

THE TENANTS CAN LIVE A VIBRANT LIFE WITH 17 RETAIL STORES AND RESTAURANTS KEPT ON THE GROUND FLOOR

THIS IS HOW THE MALL LOOKED IN THE OLD DAYS

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/americas-oldest-shopping-mall-micro-lofts-arcade-providence-northeast-collaborative-architects/

FACEBOOK STEPS IN TO PROVE THE VALUE OF CHATBOTS WITH TOMMY HILFIGER

Here come the fashbots, and this time they might actually be useful.

Facebooks seemingly half-baked chatbot platform soured many on the potential of conversation user interfaces. The first bots built by outside developers back in April were clumsy and more trouble than just using a website. So Facebooks Creative Shop is getting involved, working with bot creator Msg.ai and the Tommy Hilfiger fashion brand to make a flagship chatbot worthy to point to.

The TMY.GRL A.I. Messenger Bot will promote todays debut of Tommys capsule fashion line for supermodel and social media star Gigi Hadid. People can discover it by tapping the message button on Tommys Facebook page or posts, opening a shortlink URL or scanning its Messenger QR code.

screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-2-17-02-pm

Through the bot, fashionistas can type questions or select pre-made queries to learn about Gigi, see behind-the-scenes content from the collections runway show event and, most importantly, shop for items from the nautical-themed clothing line.

Facebook still hasnt built a native checkout and payment flow into its Messenger bot platform. Shoppers will be linked out to Tommy Hilfigers website to put in their credit card details and confirm purchases. While that might give brands a deeper sense of control over the experience, it likely also reduces conversion rates as leaving Messenger gives them a chance to get distracted or reconsider buying something. Its something Facebook will hopefully build soon.

tommy-bot-screenshots

Iasked why the company is diving into the unproven world of bots, Tommy Hilfiger himself told me Were really focused on going directly to the consumer. We are obviously distributed in our own stores and in department stores, but going directlyto the consumer is really part of the motive and the future of the omni-channel process.

Puneet Mehta, CEO of Msg.ai, explains that consumer goods companies are attracted to bots because of the relationship aspect, not just sales. If they can create a memorable, interactive experience with their brand instead of just one-way marketing, customers will keep coming back. Thats why Facebooks marketing experts from its Creative Shop, which typically help out advertisers, got their hands dirty on developing this bot.

BOTTY HILFIGER

How did a 31-year-old company come up with the idea for a chatbot? Hilfiger tells me it started with a conversation I had with Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook. We talked about innovative ways to enhance the shopping experience. Were always a bit ahead of the curve.

tommyxgigi

Chasing new technologies hasnt always panned out. While Tommy Hilfigers Instagram and Snapchat strategies have been a success, 25 years ago it unsuccessfully tried to build touch-screen vending machines. Hilfiger explains that We had lots of trials and tribulations with that. The credit card system was working, the touch-screen heated up.

But now he feels that by relying on a dependable company like Facebook, theres less to worry about and more to gain as customersembrace new ways to shop.

screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-2-17-26-pmTommy Hilfiger CMO Avery Baker tells me that one of the things thats always been important in fashion is customer service and the experience in a store. TheTMY.GRL A.I. Messenger Bot will try to answer peoples questions and offer a more immersive, responsive feel than shoppers usually get online.

The bot will try to capture some of the personality of talking to Gigi herself, while remaining transparent that theres not a human on the other end. No one wants to feel like theyre being spoken to by the corporate animal, Baker admits.

Fashion still seems like an unlikely candidate for chatbot success. People cant touch or try on the clothes, and the bot doesnt know enough about the users style to make smart recommendations about which items they might prefer.

But Hilfiger believes this brand-specific bot could perform better than multi-brand retail shopping bots like Spring, which launched with the Messenger bot platform and was quickly proven confusing and unconvincing.

tommy

Tommy Hilfiger (center)

I think if youre an established brand and the consumer is familiar with the brand, they have confidence that that certain cotton or cashmere or denim is the quality that would be acceptable, that they would be confident that the fit would be okay, Hilfiger concludes. Theres a lot of different reasons why people shop online. Now they can receive shipments, try on items, and send back what they dont accept. They dont necessarily need to touch and feel.

At the very least, Tommy Hilfiger could use the campaign to lure people into messaging their bot first. Thats critical, since Facebook Messenger only lets brands message people whove already pinged them. Getting conversations started is essentially the new version of getting people to Like your Facebook Page. Better to build an audience early than get left behind.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/09/botty-hilfiger/

THIS STORE IS LAUNCHING A ‘SLOW SHOPPING’ SERVICE FOR A GOOD REASON

A shopper takes a seat during the ‘slow shopping’ service.

Image: sainsburys

LONDON Shopping isn’t necessarily the most relaxing experience. But one UK supermarket will be slowing down the pace for two hours each day to help elderly customers and people with disabilities.

Sainsburys in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, is trialling a new concept called ‘slow shopping’, tailored to accommodate the needs of these two populations.

Slow shopping will be run at the store every Tuesday from 1pm to 3pm. People using the service will be greeted at the store’s entrance, where a Sainsbury’s employee can help them with their shopping.

Chairs will also be placed at the end of aisles to help people who struggle to stand for the duration of their shopping trip. The store’s help desks will also be serving samples of cakes, biscuits and fruit to shoppers.

The idea was spearheaded by local resident Katherine Vero, who found it challenging to go shopping with her mother, who had dementia. After her mother passed away, Vero was inspired to create a slow-shopping service.

My mum used to love shopping, but as her dementia developed it became increasingly difficult and stressful for us both,” said Vero in a statement.

“But I didnt want her to stop going out and become isolated. I wondered if there was a way to help us enjoy shopping.”

According to research carried out by Alzheimers Society, 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia and 80 percent of people with the condition say shopping is their favourite activity.

The experience of deputy store manager Scott McMahon of helping his elderly parent while shopping opened him up to the approach by Vero.

“When my father developed cancer, I saw how hard he found shopping, yet he still wanted to go to maintain his independence, so when Katherine approached me about trialling slow shopping, I was keen to help,” he said in a statement.

Sainsbury’s isn’t the only store to adapt to its customers’ needs. Earlier this year, a supermarket in Manchester launched a ‘quiet hour’ for autistic shoppers.

With the slow-shopping trial in full swing, Vero is hoping the service will be rolled out to stores nationwide.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/08/30/slow-shopping-sainsburys/

WORLD’S LARGEST INDOOR THEME PARK OPENS IN DUBAI

(CNN)It’s already home to the world’s tallest buildings, biggest shopping malls and largest man-made islands.

Now, Dubai can claim yet another superlative — the “world’s largest indoor theme park.”
IMG Worlds of Adventure, an amusement park that cost more than $1 billion dollars and took three years to build, opened its doors to the public on Wednesday.
The park is as big as 28 football fields, measuring some 1.5 million square feet in size.
“We wanted this to be an icon for Dubai itself and an icon for the region,” says Lennard Otto, CEO of IMG Worlds of Adventure. “And opening the world’s largest indoor theme park seemed very fitting for this market.”
MORE: Six outrageously opulent Dubai experiences
Ride on the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide
Later this year, the even bigger Dubai Parks and Resorts development is set to open just outside the city.
That park — built at a cost of more than $3 billion dollars — includes LegoLand, a Bollywood-themed zone, and a water park.
The new theme parks are part of Dubai’s plan to boost tourism to the United Arab Emirates amid plunging oil prices in the Gulf.
As many as 18 million visitors could visit Dubai’s amusement centers by 2021, according to analysts.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/01/travel/dubai-largest-indoor-theme-park/index.html

 

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