Press release: BT opens ‘Alexander Black’ concept store in Milan to showcase the future of in-store retailing

DC15-104 (17 March 2015)

Smart use of technology in physical stores creates a personalised shopping experience to improve customer service and loyalty

Alexander BlackBT today announced the opening of a concept store in Milan that gives retailers a vision of how creative use of technology can radically transform the in-store shopping experience. Designed as a real shop branded ‘Alexander Black’, it showcases more than 40 innovative technologies that create a personalised experience for customers who do their shopping in ‘brick and mortar’ stores.

The Alexander Black shop also demonstrates how the in-store experience can be seamlessly integrated with the brand’s online, mobile and customer service channels to create an intelligent and consistent experience across all channels.

The Milan shop, opening six months after the launch of the first Alexander Black store in New York, contains live, real time demonstrations of BT solutions that:

  • improve individual customer engagement and the overall in-store experience
  • improve the retailer’s in-store operations and support their omnichannel strategy
  • provide shop floor staff with real-time visibility of inventory across all channels and global supply chain
  • enable shop floor staff to quickly access customer and product information
  • provide innovative ways to verify product authenticity and identify counterfeited goods
  • make all those solutions accessible through managed mobile devices
  • provide in-store security with innovative video surveillance and anti-theft systems, and help manage the flows of cash.

“Bricks and mortar stores are challenged by the very deep changes in customer expectations created by the rise of online shopping,” said Hubertus von Roenne, vice president, Global Industry Practices, BT Global Services. “Successful retailers absolutely need to orchestrate new technology in a creative way and blend the digital and physical worlds so that their customers have the same amazing experience regardless of the place or time of their shopping.”

The Alexander Black store shows how technologies such as RFID, NFC (Near Field Communications), BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), beacons and Wi-Fi can transform the in-store shopping experience.

“From interactive displays to digital screens where the content is personalised by relevant criteria, such as individual shopping history and demographics, there is a huge range of new ways to engage and delight the customers. Being able to integrate these multiple experiences to provide a consistent, joined up brand experience across all channels has become a key priority for retailers. We are delighted to open this new showcase store in Milan, home of some of the world’s most creative retailers,” added von Roenne.

BT’s solutions for in-store retail are globally managed end-to-end solutions, supported by a single global multilingual help desk.

The new Alexander Black concept store is located within BT’s Customer Innovation Showcase in Milan. BT owns a global network of 18 Showcase facilities providing interactive live demonstrations of all the latest solutions that BT is developing and delivering to improve business efficiency, support enterprises’ critical applications and keep ICT services secure.

About BT

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of five lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2014, BT Group’s reported revenue was £18,287m with reported profit before taxation of £2,312m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

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For further information

Alan Ball
Global PR
+32 2 237 1762