The store of the future has opened in Sweden, Gothenburg to be precise. I’d never heard of FÖMO until I was researching showrooms and pop-up stores and as soon as I read about it, I was intrigued. They describe themselves as a ‘pop-up concept store that introduces exciting brands (online and offline) from all over the world. Offering a new innovative retail and event destination.’ Like a department store, FÖMO sell lifestyle, fashion, homeware, design and technology under one roof, but change it up constantly to keep fresh and let brands use it as an opportunity to reach the Swedish market.

Would it be fair to say that this magazine format shop is the retail store of the future? I think it has potential. The Scandinavian countries have brought a lifestyle language to the world that is now common in our daily lives, from the simplicity of Ikea, to the high street staple H&M and the Danish art of cosiness – Hygge, not to mention the abundance of Scandi Noir programmes gracing our TV screens.

FÖMO is on to something. Showrooming is great for SME and start-up companies who may not have the funds to operate a multi-channel business in their target locations, and it provides larger businesses with the ability to use a showroom as part of their omni-channel strategy with a digital, endless aisle.

It’s something we have seen with many furniture retailers, you visit a shop, choose your sofa, place your order and a few weeks later it is delivered to your door. What’s different though is the fact that retailers are now opening smaller ‘showroom’ stores on the high street with select products in store, and access to more products online. B&Q have already started this omni-channel approach with their Holloway Road store, bringing DIY from the suburbs to the city, providing shoppers with access to their home improvement offering, along with click and collect options for their ecommerce customers accessing their full range of products.

Ecommerce furniture retailers Made and Loaf have also embarked upon this showroom approach, providing customers with a tangible experience they wouldn’t get from ordering online. Both stores use their websites to show what products are available in store and what customers can expect from their visit, such as coffee, ice cream and interactive tablets.

For others to follow suit it’s imperative that they have a real-time, retail management system that has a single view of stock across all channels to provide this endless aisle in store, along with the ability to drop ship products and ultimately become a store of the future.

6 reasons to drop-ship and provide an endless aisle

Investing in a true omni-channel retail management system will provide retailers of all sizes with these six benefits:

  1. Up-selling. Either from the till or on the shop floor using mobile point of sale (mPOS), shop staff can recommend and sell products to customers even if the retailer doesn’t hold stock the items. Letting you capture extra sales and more importantly – revenue.
  2. In-transit orders. Just because a product is out of stock, it doesn’t mean you can’t sell it! Make sure you don’t miss out on sales by taking orders for items that are already in-transit, or part of an existing purchase order. Be careful though, this will only work if you have a retail and stock management that provides you with real-time view of all stock you have on order.
  3. Trial new products and markets. Without holding stock, you can test product lines from new or existing suppliers with little to no risk, or target new markets without making a huge investment, giving you the flexibility to adapt to on-trend products.
  4. Manage trade accounts. Raise purchase orders automatically via a sale at the till and set customisable rules, so you know what is being ordered and when. Perfect for those with limited or no warehouse space, keeping your stock in the shop.
  5. Full service. Go the extra mile with your customers and extend your services by letting suppliers close the loop on a sale. By offering delivery and installation of a product in a customer’s home, retailers are providing consumer confidence and satisfaction.
  6. Digital aisles. You don’t need a huge store to sell all your products, with a streamlined mPOS solution and clever in store tech you can display a full product catalogue on the shop floor, including in stock items and items available for drop shipping. Fully equipping your staff with what they need to make those all-important sales.

Don’t get too Hygge with your customers, download the free RetailStore platform brochure to find out how your retail shops can be stores of the future.


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