Mieloo & Alexander

Flagship store combines the experience of in-store visit with the benefits of online shopping

The Bonprix Next Generation Retail Store opened its doors on 14th February 2019 in the city centre of Hamburg, the result of 18 months of intense collaboration between Bonprix and Mieloo & Alexander. This pilot store delivers a brand new shopping experience to fashion lovers: an integration of the advantages of buying online and the experience of shopping in-store.


The customer journey

Bonprix is an international online store that offers “fashion of outstanding value for money” for men, women and children. In the flagship store in Hamburg, the in-store customer journey starts with the Bonprix Next Generation Retail (NGR) application. Customers download it on their own smartphone or borrow a mobile device from the store employees, with the necessary software already installed.

The store displays Bonprix’ entire assortment in women’s fashion that is available to buy, in one size. Each article is tagged with a digital fashion label that shows the current price, size range and a QR-code. The customer scans the QR-code of the items she wants to try on and/or buy and add it to her basket. The journey continues through the store, with the customer scanning and selecting articles of interest. When the selection is complete, the customer has a choice to try the clothes on or to purchase them immediately. In the latter case, the application will indicate when the items are ready in the so-called Fast Lane Box. They can be paid for in the application with PayPal or credit card or at the cashier’s.

If the customer has indicated she wants to try the clothes on, a notification shows up on the mobile device when the selected articles are ready in one of the dressing rooms. These are all equipped with a “magic screen” from which different sizes or additional items can be ordered. A store employee delivers these items quickly to the dressing room. The customer leaves the clothes she does not want to buy behind in the dressing room. The items she does want, she takes out of the dressing room onto the shop floor. These articles automatically show up in the mobile application and she can pay for them there and then, or at the cashier’s.

The technology

Mieloo & Alexander and Bonprix worked closely together to design the customer journey and the supporting logistics. They used the latest RFID and barcode technologies to build a solution that delivers accurate and real-time information on item location and inventory levels. The RFID infrastructure is the backbone of the in-store logistical processes that deliver a futuristic shopping experience to the customer.


RFID communication

Each article of clothing available for sale in the flagship store is stored in a small warehouse within the store building, invisible to customers. The proximity allows employees to bring the clothes to the dressing rooms quickly. All articles received an RFID tag in the main warehouse, Seelandhalle. The articles in-store also have a digital price label that is updated automatically when Bonprix decides to change the price. The RFID tags communicate with the RFID infrastructure, so customers know what articles are in their basket and store employees always know the exact location of articles on the sales floor and how many are available. If necessary, more articles can be ordered over from Seelandhalle.

Item location and size availability of articles is also shared with the Bonprix NGR application that customers use to shop in-store. For the store employees, the RFID infrastructure provides a pick list for the customer’s articles with optimised warehouse routing. It also connects to the electronic article surveillance (EAS) system and supports the logistics of articles that have to return to Seelandhalle warehouse from the store.

Return articles

Mieloo & Alexander built a separate mobile application for employees. It shows the location of all articles that have to be returned to Seelandhalle warehouse. The articles are collected, put in boxes and scanned by an RFID table system. The data are sent to a PC and the Bonprix Warehouse Management System, ready to be printed as a packaging list. The employee books the items out of the store and the boxes are ready to be shipped back to Seelandhalle.