#Vacantspaces and locations take note. We came across this in Construct Ireland magazine and defintely thought it was worth posting. Certainly not a doom and gloom piece of news. #Tesco are actively looking for ideal locations for new Tesco Express stores. Great to see positive activity.

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Last Friday saw the installation of our Virtual Shopfront Shoe Store on Ireland’s most famous shopping street…Grafton Street. And it is one with a twist! Clever product placement and QR Code technology are grabbing the attention of people and allowing them to scan the shoes that are on display to retrieve information about them and where they can be purchased.

Over the past 9months Virtual Shopfronts have become the solution to the ever increasing problem of vacant retail units and we are delighted to illustrate their benefits on Ireland’s most famous high street. Not only has our Virtual Shopfront at #37 Grafton Street (right opposite HMV) made a positive impact on the high street it allows passersby to interact with it and get real information on the shoes being displayed. Through it’s look and interactivity footfall to the once invisible vacant retail unit is increasing.

“We wanted this vacant retail unit to be the first Virtual Shopping experience for people. They can interact with the products on display within the Virtual Shopfront by simply scanning the associated QR Codes. Virtual Shopfronts are continually evolving and this is just another step forward for the concept. It is a unique way for brands to have a presence on high streets and in shopping malls without the expense of renting a unit.  We also see the Virtual Shopfronts as an ideal platform for launching new products and brands. Up until now large brands have been reluctant to advertise in vacant spaces because it can sometimes give out the wrong message, however through subtle product placement and interactivity within our Virtual Shopfronts this barrier is removed. The last thing that Virtual Shopfronts want is to compromise the integrity of our concept. First and foremost the Virtual Shopfront must grab the attention. We do not want to blatantly cover vacant retail windows with branding, that’s not what this step forward is about. We want this to be a win win for all parties involved and it is” Nicholas Polley

For this first Virtual Shopping experience Virtual Shopfronts approached a local Irish independent shoe designer. Tutty’s Handmade Shoes who are over 65 years old were an ideal candidate.  Located in Project 51 around the corner on South William Street they were intrigued and excited about the opportunity.  ‘Old World craft meets New Age technology’ is how it is being described and now Tutty’s have a presence on Ireland’s busiest high street, something that in reality would be prohibitive. Now people on Grafton Street passing by the Virtual Shopfront can receive information on a number of their shoe designs by simply scanning the QR Codes.

“It is very exciting times for us right now and there is huge potential and scope to this approach. It feeds in perfectly to our overall objectives and we are very confident it will attract the attention of the large brands” NP

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Is this the image that the Dublin Docklands Authority want to be portraying?

Well we think not. The potential for Virtual Shopfronts in this area is huge and combine that with the interactivity we could introduce to them there is great scope for making these vacant spaces come alive, inspire new business and ultimately let or sell the premises.  To prove what a difference we could make we have very quickly mocked one up for you.

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We have just been commissioned to install a Virtual Shopfront in this unit on Grafton Street.

The existing facade is doing nothing for the unit or for the streetscape so we will be doing something about that! Make sure to keep an eye out for it and what type of Virtual Shopfront we install! All will be revealed very soon.

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We were kindly (or unkindly) sent this video today showing the power of Augmeted Reality #ar. To be honest the headline grabbed our attention but where is the argument? Bashing one technology to promote your own? Hardly…. Video looks good though.


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