Innovation

Augmented Reality Retail Innovation

One of the standout innovations at SXSW was shown by Lush Retail, a U.K. cosmetics firm that sells, of all things, bath bombs. Lush runs an innovation division called Lush Labs that designed a mobile app that lets you to scan any of their bath bombs and immediately see its name, elements, cost and fragrance description.

More than 26,700 stores have closed since 2007, when the current retail downslope began. One mitigating factor is the fact that the U.S. has more retail square footage per capita than any other country, as much as six times more than the U.K.

Then there is Amazon.com, which has siphoned off America’s best retail buyers, corralling them into the ultimate email list of 100 million Prime members. One researcher believes that more than half of U.S. households will be Prime members by yearend 2019.

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