St Albans store creates virtual 3D shopping tour to tackle high street decline

PUBLISHED: 16:13 22 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:14 22 November 2018

Screenshots of the Cositas tool, looking at the St Albans shop. Picture: Cositas

Screenshots of the Cositas tool, looking at the St Albans shop. Picture: Cositas

Archant

A shop in St Albans has created an interactive 3D browsing experience to tackle the decline of the high street.

Screenshots of the Cositas tool, looking at the St Albans shop. Picture: CositasScreenshots of the Cositas tool, looking at the St Albans shop. Picture: Cositas

Independent home interiors store Cositas just launched a 3D photographic tool which allows people to look around a virtual version of the shop, zoom into specific products, and click through to checkout.

It has been created by a collaboration between Cositas St Albans, hotel Torrington Hall, Intragrammer HelloHaus, and Striking Places Photography.

Owner of Cositas Emma Bustamanate said: “At Cositas we are really aware of the struggles of the High Street at the moment. “Instead of just wishing the shops down here see better footfall, I started thinking of ideas. I am fully aware that we need online to progress at the moment but I always want customers to integrate with the high street.

“It is like incorporating the charm and shopping experience of the high street with a 3D tour and convenience of online stores.”

Screenshots of the Cositas tool, looking at the St Albans shop. Picture: CositasScreenshots of the Cositas tool, looking at the St Albans shop. Picture: Cositas

HelloHaus will soon be selecting her top picks from Cositas and styling a bedroom at Torrington Hall. Striking Places Photography will then create a virtual tour linking through to collaborators and products.

Cositas opened on Holywell Hill in February 2017, offering new and vintage furniture, home accessories, gifts, jewellery, and creative workshops.

Emma said: “I started at a good time, but since then we have seen challenging times and I can see why high streets are struggling.

“My hope for this is we can change the way people want to shop. Noone wants to see the high street go under but we live in an age where convenience is paramount and I hope I am meeting my customers half way.”

Screenshots of the Cositas tool, looking at the St Albans shop. Picture: CositasScreenshots of the Cositas tool, looking at the St Albans shop. Picture: Cositas

If other businesses want to get involved, the shopping experience could branch outside and into other shops, Emma said.

According to a House of Commons Briefing Paper dated October 29 2018, 28 retail companies with multiple stores have ceased trading in the year to August 2018, affecting 2,085 premises and 39,000 jobs.

In comparison, the statistics show online shopping is increasingly popular - in January 2008 internet sales accounted for five per cent of the market but in August 2018, it accounted for 18 per cent.

This data was collated by the Centre for Retail Research.

Screenshots of the Cositas tool, looking at the St Albans shop. Picture: CositasScreenshots of the Cositas tool, looking at the St Albans shop. Picture: Cositas

See the 3D tour at www.cositas.co.uk

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