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2093 Inside Retail Weekly

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NEWS The fourth channel of retail BY DIMITRI SOTIROPOULOS Myer and eBay have said last week's launch of the world's first virtual reality department store represents a first glimpse into the fourth channel of retail. The VR department store has been in development for 12 months between the two heavyweights. Speaking to Inside Retail Weekly, Mark Cripsey, chief digital and data officer at Myer, and Steve Brennen, senior director marketing and retail innovation at eBay, said the two companies collaborated to leverage the best of physical and digital retail. "We're looking at ways of how we can bring the love of shopping to life through all channels," said Cripsey. "So when eBay came along with this idea, we thought this would be a great initiative to get a glimpse into that future. How can we bring the love of shopping to life in a virtual environment?" The VR store connects to the existing eBay. application programming interface (API), allowing Myer's product range, pricing and stock information to be updated in real time, which the two companies say is a first for virtual reality experiences globally. Over 12,500 products from Myer can be browsed, selected and added to a shopping cart using eBay Sight Search. Cripsey said since launching the new Myer transformation strategy, omnichannel has been an integral component, with the virtual store signifying the fourth channel of retail - v-commerce. "I'd like to see customers' readiness for this technology, and if there's certain types of products they buy differently to what they might buy on a website, mobile or instore," said Cripsey. "If the truly personalised experience that you get through this headset is something that we can leverage elsewhere, I think we'll start to see linkages between products that we never knew existed in the past." Myer will use analytics data gathered from the store to see where customer's eyes go. The retailer believes this will be extremely insightful both for its stores and its current e-commerce platform. Brennan said Myer was a 'perfect fit' for implementing the virtual store. "We are both focused on innovation, and innovation based around what our customers need," he said. "We need to be where our customers are shopping; I think we both really sign up for that - and then the O V E R A L L R E TA IL S A L E S las t mon t h v s pr e v ious mon t h 1.55% las t mon t h v s s ame mon t h las t ye ar 5.60% Source: AustralianRetailIndex RE TAIL ER SH A RE PERF ORM A NCE Company Trade code Opening price (May 16) Closing price (May 23) Market cap Stock change % Beacon Lighting Group... BLX $1.61 $1.27 $273.24M -21.12% Cash Converters Intl... CCV $0.46 $0.420 $203.69M -8.70% Myer Holdings Ltd MYR $1.24 $1.17 $960.90M -5.65% OrotonGroup Limited ORL $2.41 $2.29 $93.62M -4.98% JB Hi-Fi Limited JBH $24.29 $23.32 $2.31B -3.99% Source: Google Finance *Opening price Monday May 16 Results correct as of 5pm Monday May 23 Top 5 per f or mer s Wor s t 5 per f or mer s Company Trade code Opening price (May 16) Closing price (May 23) Market cap Stock change % Metcash Limited MTS $1.79 $1.96 $1.81B 9.50% Billabong International... BBG $1.34 $1.42 $282.26M 5.97% Thorn Group Ltd TGA $1.38 $1.44 $222.43M 4.35% Nick Scali Limited NCK $4.41 $4.50 $364.50M 2.04% Grays Ecommerce Group... GEG $1.08 $1.10 $140.22M 1.85% 2 | INSIDE RETAIL WEEKLY | WWW.INSIDERETAIL.COM.AU INSIDE RETAIL WEEKLY

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