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TOO x TOO

Issue #053

By Charlotte Hurd, on 5th March 2021

Welcome to your weekly dose of TOO x TOO – featuring Amazon Go landing in London, Microsoft opening up to accessibility, Vans going Live & Flat Pack going Back to Front  

Amazon Go lands in London  

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This week, Amazon has opened its first Amazon Fresh store in London – complete with ‘just walk out tech’. Visitors to Amazon Fresh scan a smartphone app when entering and are automatically billed as they leave. 

The store stocks hundreds of own-brand items as well as third-party products, and also serves as a place to collect and return goods bought online. 

"Having a physical presence will enable Amazon to address some of its weaknesses, like the mounting cost of deliveries and returns," said Natalie Berg, an analyst with NBK Retail.

This first store will act as a test for all frictionless tech and retail that Amazon will later roll out to other retailers. This store also emerges at the perfect time, as the UK slowly begins to emerge hesitantly looking for reassurance that shops are safe - Frictionless no checkout plays to all these anxieties as well as the growing demand for convenience across all elements of the shopper journey.  

Microsoft open up to accessibility 

In an industry first, Microsoft have announced the launch of a testing program which invites game developers to send in their games to receive feedback about how accessible they are for disabled gamers.  

If the team finds an issue – they provide developers with feedback and tools for dealing with any problems, with details on how a given experience could be challenging for gamers for specific disabilities.  

The next step is to open this up to the gaming community – offering opportunity for gamers to feedback directly.  

The changing landscape of gaming and the huge push for more inclusivity in this sector means that first hand feedback is key - Gaming is a way to socialize, it's recreational, it's part of our culture. So it's imperative that groups aren't excluded. 

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Vans go Live  

US skate brand Vans are known for their ability to push boundaries connecting with grassroots youth culture and the launch of their live broadcast platform, Channel 66 is a recent extension of this.  

 The space aims to be a ‘one-stop entertainment channel’ encapsulating music, art, sports and street culture. Running every weekday – Channel 66 will host live performances, workshops and curated conversations with Friday nights dedicated to live music and dance centric DJ sets.  

 The local community will be key – with shows taking influence from the communities in which they broadcast.  

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Flat pack goes back to front 

Though people commonly despair following IKEA's flat pack to furniture instructions – there is rarely mention of the opposite process: how to take them apart. But – whether consumers  are moving house or selling a piece they no longer need, reusing furniture is an obvious way to extend its life. And taking it apart correctly reduces the risk of damaging a part or not being able to reassemble it again. 
 
As part of a wider effort towards lowering its environmental impact, IKEA UK has now released disassembly instructions for six of its most popular products 

When it's time to reassemble, users can download the original assembly instructions from IKEA's website, as long as the product is still sold. 

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