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Adidas Previews Interactive Shopping Wall

Martyn Williams | March 4, 2011
Adidas will begin deploying a futuristic digital shopping wall at select stores from next year. The Adiverse virtual footwear wall offers access to all Adidas products and can watch shoppers while they watch it.

FRAMINGHAM, 3 MARCH 2011 - Adidas will begin deploying a futuristic digital shopping wall at select stores from next year. The Adiverse virtual footwear wall offers access to all Adidas products and can watch shoppers while they watch it.

 

"What we're trying to do is give consumers access to the widest range of products that we can possibly offer no matter the size of the store," said Chris Aubrey, Adidas' vice president of global retail, during a news conference at this week's Cebit IT fair in Germany. A prototype of the system is being demonstrated at the show by Intel (INTC), which worked with Adidas for 10 months on its development.

A typical shoe store for Adidas stocks around 200 shoes -- well short of the 4,000 offered by the company. The virtual wall will allow the entire range to be displayed on screen while offering more information than is typically displayed in-store.

It consists of four 46-inch, touch-sensitive flat-screen displays that fill a wall from floor to ceiling. Three columns of shoes are displayed on the screens in virtual wheels that can be spun around with the swipe of a hand. Shoes cascade pass the shopper with each swipe and individual shoes can be tapped and further examined. (See a video of the shopping wall in action on YouTube.)

Using data from 3D models of each shoe, shoppers can spin, twist, turn and enlarge computer representations of the footwear. Around 110 shoes are available in the system now, but the company plans to have all 4,000 scanned by the time the wall appears in stores.

An information panel alongside the shoe provides a brief description, the sizes that are available in-store and those available for delivery.

For some products a further window with marketing information appears. Select Adidas' F50 soccer shoe, for example, and snippets of information about the shoe appear, such as how well it scored during the last World Cup (it was the top-scoring shoe). A video of famous soccer players who wear it is also displayed.

Adidas has also tied social media into the system with messages about the shoes from Twitter and Facebook. Adidas will filter the comments for unsuitable content and language but won't suppress negative comments.

If a customer decides to buy a shoe, it can be ordered through the touchscreen system. A store employee will then either bring over the shoes or, if they are not in stock, use a tablet computer to enter payment and shipping information.

 

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