1,000 Invisible Stores

– Jordan

From AdAge

Chinese retailer Yihaodian takes its battle for customers to the real world, with a clever guerilla stunt by Ogilvy & Mather. The company “launched” 1,000 stores seemingly overnight, located in front of Chinese landmarks, and in some cases, in front of brick-and-mortar supermarkets.

The catch: They aren’t real. They exist only in the virtual world, and consumers can see, visit or shop at them using an app while they are physically present at the “location.”

“We want to create buzz and raise awareness of Yihaodian’s more convenient shopping offer. While traditional offline retailers are desperately trying to move their businesses online, we thought we’d do just the opposite … and give the game an interesting twist,” said Ogilvy Shanghai managing director Yuan Yong in a statement.

The store works somewhat like a traditional supermarket. The augmented reality buildings are accessible via the app, which can tell whether you’re actually “there” or not. Customers can browse the aisles and check out — the goods will be delivered directly to them.

Why I’m curious:

We can see a trend of people trying to create value out of something different by combining the physical world with a digital space. For example we posted about Burberry’s new store in London that attempts a merge of their online store within a set of physical walls. I find it interesting that in order to get some peoples attention we need to revert back to a medium that seems to be becoming old news, but using it in a new way.


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