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Pop-up Experience Brings RFID Solution to Stores

The system, from The Lion'esque Group spinoff Field Test, tracks the movement of customer traffic and enables shoppers to create wish lists of products they see in a temporary environment.
By Claire Swedberg
Aug 18, 2017

Retailers and property managers planning new store sites have more tools at their disposal—in the form of pop-up stores and automation technology—than they did just a few years ago. With technology and a temporary site, the companies can bring an online-style experience to consumers and use technology to test how well shoppers respond to a store before making a permanent commitment.

New York-based retail strategist company The Lion'esque Group is planning the launch of a pop-up store experience, in partnership with Chicago's General Growth Properties (GGP), which will feature RFID technology to track the movements of shoppers throughout its space. The system will enable customers to create a shopping cart-style list of products they may wish to purchase at a later date.

The system will be taken live on Aug. 24, 2017, at the Water Tower Place shopping mall, and could be rolled out at other locations throughout the country next year, says Melissa Gonzalez, The Lion'esque Group's CEO and founder. The technology was created by The Lion'esque Group spinoff Field Test, in partnership with Impinj and d4c.

The Chicago deployment will include RAIN UHF RFID-enabled keys for customers, cards representing the products in a "key bar," and gateways installed in ceilings, as well as readers installed at other locations throughout the facility. In addition to the RAIN RFID hardware, Impinj provides its ItemSense software platform that filters and manages the collected read data, calculates RFID tag locations, and forwards that data to Field Test's software, according to Larry Arnstein, Impinj's business-development VP.

The Lion'esque Group launched in 2009 and has since produced more than 100 pop-up store experiences. This year, the company has partnered with GGP to offer a connected pop-up-style store known as In Real Life (IRL). The storefronts, which will be live at Water Tower Place, will feature 12 brands following a home-life theme. The first one, launching in Chicago this month and throughout the winter holidays, will focus on home and living, and includes such products as Maiden Home furniture, Swoon Living glasses and decanters, mattresses from Leesa, Kassatex bathroom furnishings and UGallery artwork.

The system will also offer a ping pong table and accessories from Killerspin that shoppers can try out. Many of the brands do not traditionally sell products at brick-and-mortar stores, Gonzalez says. With the IRL storefronts, the products will be on display, allowing customers to see, touch and interact with them, then place orders online.

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