Planning retail’s comeback

Planning retail’s comeback

As we are all fully aware, Coronavirus is having a major impact on the daily lives of our society. In many sectors, economic activity is declining sharply, and stores are temporarily closing their doors. When the pandemic comes to an end, we expect that businesses, and society as a whole, will want to resume normal daily life as soon as possible. We may even see economic spikes associated with this activity.

Our in-house production facilities in Poland are still fully operational. Both our teams and supply chain are committed to supporting our clients and the continuation of their projects in anticipation of a return to physical retail trading. Ensuring we are working in line with government guidelines at all times, we’ve put in place wide-ranging and strict measures to protect our teams if they choose to work. Some of these measures include; 3 shifts in 24 hours to minimise the number of people in the facility at any one time, home working for all employees other than production floor operatives, daily health screening for all employees at the facility and of course all PPE equipment.

We are already discussing with clients how we best use the current time to be ready to move with speed as and when the time comes. As a result of these discussions, we’re working on individual plans for clients to get kit close to where it will be needed, or stored in our facilities with JIT planning in place for fast distribution and roll out, as well as planning maintenance works.

By working closely with our supply chain partners now, we can help secure both livelihoods and execution for clients as and when the “storm” passes, and the time comes to kickstart retail.

Recycled waste marked as top fashion trend in Florence

Sustainability and creative activations were forefront of the trends at Pitti Immagine Uomo 97 in January. In the heart of Florence, “the world’s most important platform for men’s clothing and accessory collections” attracted over 1,200 exhibitors and 21,400 buyers. Agnostino Poletto, General Manager of Pitti Immagine remarked that the exhibitors “brought to Florence the fruits of their constant research into materials, manufacturing techniques and clever stylistic innovation, alongside more refined communication and promotion strategies.”

Our team visited the fashion exhibition to see the latest trends that brands are adopting and capture how brands are representing themselves outside of their online and physical stores.

One of the key trends at the show was sustainability. As a growing global concern and the fashion industry being one of the biggest players in the climate crisis, it was no surprise that this topic was a high priority. The Lyceum area was used for the very first time at the show to host an innovative activation, Reflections, that outlined a huge array of sustainable materials borne from recycled waste.

It was a vibrant and busy few days with plenty of opportunity to engage with a number of brands from influential boutiques, the big department stores, and high range e-commerce platforms. GAS, Blauer, Woolrich, Superdry and conglomerates such as WP had large-scale stands with a hype of activity. Armani, Woolrich and Blauer made the most of their booth space by including creative activations which offered a welcome respite from the standard tradeshow noise. Armani in particular did this well through gamification, a live DJ and selfie booths to attract the earned media elements to their Pitti campaign.

Woolrich marked their 190th anniversary with a special activation just off-site. The impressive warehouse space was converted into a giant snow room replicating their in-store experience across the globe. Combining hospitality through free food and drink served for Pitti attendees and an immersive experience, Woolrich set the path for their strategy to engage with consumer experiences over the next year.

Pitti Immagine Uomo 97 has inspired our thinking towards immersive designs giving the consumer an unforgettable and tangible experience. As the consumer voice around sustainable practices becomes louder, the retail industry is having to respond by integrating sustainable-led designs. Creative activations along with sustainable designs will lead the way for retail throughout 2020 and beyond.

We are excited to learn more from retail brands next year at Pitti Immagine Uomo in 2021!

Come and experience the experts at EuroShop 2020

EuroShop – the world’s no.1 retail fair – is the perfect environment for Alrec, the experts in experience. We’ll be there in 2020 for the 20th edition of ‘The Event’. Here are the three top reasons to visit Alrec at Euroshop: 

  1. Gain insights with our 2020 Retail Industry Report. It’s full of invaluable information, industry observation and in-depth analysis.
  2. Explore the world of Alrec with our unique interactive touchscreen. A media-rich, touch-driven experience will help you discover how our 360 project approach can help shoppers experience the full potential of your brand at retail.
  3. Immerse yourself in our AR Experience. Take a cutting-edge virtual tour and explore every angle of our work through 360º videos and 3D models.

Join us in Hall 12 at Stand D35 from the 16th to the 20th February 2020 to experience the experts in action.

Our immersive experience at GlobalShop 2019

As part of our developing global strategy we’ve just returned from Chicago where we visited GlobalShop 2019, spent time with our clients & partners and checked out the latest retail developments and trends.

Chicago has its fair share of highly invested experiential stores; Comcast’s Studio Xfinity is a great example of a brand experience store with the core objective of customer engagement rather than sales, with dedicated areas provided for training and product demonstrations. The customer experience is supported by smart use of digital screens and immersive content, adaptable lighting and modular furniture; providing a flexible space that can be used for product launches and promotions.

The AT&T flagship on Michigan Avenue raises the stakes with a fully interactive experience store which, when we visited, was dedicated to the history of video gaming. The value proposition for the consumer was its super-fast data packages, was brought to life through gaming competitions, interactive product demonstrations and VR experiences. Both retail experiences were complemented by highly engaged, service-oriented experts who were incredibly knowledgeable around the products and proposition demonstrating the importance of the human factor in delivering great brand and product experiences.

B8ta have a mid-mall kiosk in Nordstrom, which although feeling a little cluttered is a great example of a disruptive player succeeding in the changing shape of the global retail market.

Protecting your return

Naturally flagship / experience / engagement stores always have a near perfect customer experience with precise execution of details and in-house brand ambassadors, however, after also analysing the mass market retail environment, it was clear to us that brands face the same challenges as the rest of the world in this space; ensuring that customers here also have a perfect experience, and for this there is the need for a more focused maintenance and service provision to protect the return on that experience investment.


A global presence

GlobalShop 2019 provides the platform for US & Global retail services industry to meet, the show itself was worthwhile to visit and we took the opportunity to further develop our network meeting new contacts to further support our North American growth strategy. Spending time connecting with our local partners is always valuable and inspirational. Our strengthening business in the USA will further define these partnerships allowing us to support our clients with high quality solutions and global brand consistency. During the rest of 2019 on behalf of our brand clients we’ll be delivering projects into Bed Bath and Beyond, Macys and Target.

Our visit was highly rewarding, and it was a great opportunity to spend time with our key clients, which has already inspired some interesting initiatives related to their future retail ambitions.

For support on executing your retail activation strategy in North America feel free to contact the team at

Our rebrand and why we’re excited about the future

60 years in business has taught us a valuable lesson: change is good.

Change makes us look at the world with fresh eyes – turning challenges into opportunities and experience into innovation. From the beginning of our journey in the Netherlands, to becoming a global company, we’ve always looked to the future.

The next level

That’s why we’re taking Alrec to the next level – to meet the needs of a new era, and give your customers the memorable, immersive in-store brand experiences they demand in a digital age.

We’ve evolved and updated our brand to reflect this change – Alrec is now a unified, global team of experts ready to deliver the combined benefit of all our knowledge, experience and innovation to you and your customers. Our new look reminds us where we’ve come from while leading us to where we’re going.

Always learning

We live and breathe retail. With years of market insight behind us and eyes set firmly on the future, we saw the changes coming.

We also listened – your needs, challenges and successes formed a vital part of our understanding of what works, and how we could be more efficient and effective. Our new consolidated company structure centralises everything we do into core teams – you’ll get experts from across our global business working on your project, chosen specially to match your unique requirements.

What we do for you

As a true full-service provider, we take care of everything – that’s why we’re trusted by leading global brands.

We design, develop, manufacture and implement innovative retail experiences that turn shoppers into life-long customers. Our brand store, shop-in-shop and display solutions give your customers meaningful physical interactions with the brands they love.

In a world of unlimited choice, we help shoppers experience the full potential of your brand at retail:

We bring your brand to life.