Thomson has opened its first ever London based Holiday Design Store, in Westfield Stratford City. The 1,500ft2 store has been designed to combine personalised service with the latest technology to enhance the experience of choosing and booking a holiday.
The next generation of Thomson retail is being introduced to London following the successful launch of Holiday Design Stores in Bluewater Shopping Centre, Gateshead’s Metrocentre and Sheffield’s Meadowhall as well as Liverpool, Bristol and Glasgow city centres in the last two years. The new format has won numerous awards for innovation and technology – most recently a 2015 Design Business Association award for design effectiveness.
The customer experience in the new Westfield Stratford store will be enhanced by high definition screens and projections featuring destination and hotel content and the latest technology including an 84” touch screen interactive map designed to inspire customers. Holidaymakers will be able to view “top ten” lists and live weather information, read reviews and view videos of destinations and hotels. Social media feeds will also be streamed onto the screens, with customers encouraged to celebrate their holiday bookings by tweeting to see their name and holiday destination appear live on the screen.
The store will be zoned with specially designed areas for customers to browse for holidays on their own devices or using interactive screens. The “Advice” bar has dedicated self-service computers for customers to access reviews and destination, excursion and visa information or even book their own holiday – with staff on hand to answer any questions. For a fully immersive booking experience customers sit in booths with relevant holiday images and video content projected on the walls so the retail agent can really bring the resort or cruise to life.
“With its diverse catchment area and accessibility from all areas of London, our customers can experience how our unique combination of years of expertise, dedicated personal service and the very latest technology makes choosing and booking a holiday even more fun and exciting,” commented Jill Carter, director – retail at TUI UK & Ireland.
Keith Mabbett, director – leasing at Westfield Europe, added: “At Westfield, our centre design is focused on ensuring we deliver innovative, engaging spaces with ever changing technological innovations. Recent research carried out by Westfield shows customers are looking to be inspired and excited by the in-store experience, the Thomson store at Westfield Stratford City takes this experience to the next level with a truly immersive and innovative offer.”