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Capgemini announces CornerShop

CornerShop, a retail innovation store of tomorrow, will explore the transformation of shopping and customer engagement in the ‘new normal’

04 Feb 2021

Innovation store launched to redefine physical shopping experience in a post-COVID world

Capgemini, SharpEnd and The Drum Labs announce the opening of CornerShop, a retail innovation store of tomorrow, which will explore the transformation of shopping and customer engagement in the ‘new normal’

London and Paris, February 04, 2021 –Capgemini, in collaboration with SharpEnd, the connected experience platform, and global media platform The Drum, today announced the launch of a new retail innovation store, CornerShop. Located in London, CornerShop has been designed as a live testing environment for brands, retailers and shoppers to get hands-on with the latest technologies that reimagine the shopping experience across food and drink, cosmetics and fashion. Consumers will be able to purchase items in store as well.

Inspired by the traditional British ‘corner shop’, this new approach, spearheaded by Capgemini Invent, the innovation and design brand of the Capgemini Group, will support retailers and brands as they understand how digital innovation can enable new ways to evolve the customer experience, improve in-store operations, and allow consumers to rediscover the joy of in-person retail, through exciting new options to engage and shop. CornerShop is split into four sections, each exploring fundamental aspects of the shopping experience: the automated store, the augmented store, the purposeful store and the personalized store. Combining real-life products, the latest technologies and personalized experiences, everything on display in CornerShop has been curated based on insights gathered from deep global research and data analysis, as well as through Capgemini’s real-world expertise from addressing the challenges faced by clients and their customers every day. CornerShop will continue to evolve and introduce more innovative technology concepts to suit the evolving needs of retailers and brands. The shop will also allow visitors to interact with the different technologies and purchase products from various brands once the store can welcome visitors, in person, in the future.

Commenting on the launch of the store, Steve Hewett, Head of Retail Customer Experience at Capgemini Invent, said, “While the long-term impact of the pandemic on retail stores is yet to fully reveal itself, the events of the past year have radically escalated retailers’ needs to redefine the purpose and experience of the store and its connection to the ever changing digital ecosystem that customers engage and shop within. This means it’s never been more critical to build the digital capabilities required to underpin a new shopping reality. Providing a glimpse at what retail of tomorrow will be, CornerShop has been specially designed to bring to life the most innovative technologies and how they can blend the physical and digital to create a seamless, differentiated in-store experience.”

Rob Hollands, Managing Director at SharpEnd adds, “As the change in consumer shopping behaviors continues to accelerate, brands must find new ways to connect, deliver relevant and engaging experiences and drive loyalty. From virtual-try-on to connected packaging we’ve created an environment that allows brands and retailers to explore the technologies that provide the most engaging customer experience and the option to shop and interact in the way that best suits individual needs. CornerShop aims to help brands and retailers drive their transformation further and faster, explore the latest technologies and rapidly test and learn with real consumers, in the real world.”

A new shopping experience with a mobile as remote control

As soon as a visitor enters the store, their mobile phone becomes the retail experience remote control, leading them through the space, allowing them to engage with the new shopping concepts and experiences on offer, and providing insights on the technologies harnessed, such as Machine Learning (ML), Augmented Reality (AR), computer vision and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) and Photogrammetry. Some of the shopping experiences currently testing in-store are:

  • Your store – using Bluetooth-based location technologies, customers will be greeted with a personalized experience when they enter the store and the ability to customize the physical space to their preference of artwork displayed on walls and in-store screens that would greet customers using their name and virtual avatars.
  • Virtual Try-On – this solution explores how users can create their digital twin and then view products on themselves without trying them on physically. When an item is hung up on the virtual try-on display, computer vision and RFID identify the product, convert it into a digital image and map it to the consumer on a full-length smart mirror.
  • Pay by the pick in-store vertical farm – customers will be able to browse and buy fresh produce that lines the walls of CornerShop and has been grown in the store using the latest in vertical farming intelligent agriculture technologies. Customers can select only as much as they need, avoiding food waste and excessive packaging.
  • Purposeful shopping guidance – through a combination of the CornerShop mobile app, connected packaging, AR and digital screens – customers will be able to share their individual needs, preferences, intolerances and sustainability goals, which the store will use to guide them towards the right products to meet their goals through wayfinding, intelligent filtering and relevant product recommendations and insights.
  • Social distance automation – cameras and computer vision will be able to measure social distancing in store and ensure regulations, helping store staff manage customer safety.
  • Sentient store –CornerShop empowers customers to retain control of their data with strong data governance, security and integration to a central data platform, which combined with sensor tracking technologies, such as beacons, Near Field Communications(NFC) and camera analytics, tailor the store experience to customers and to generate actionable insights on customers and their behavior in store. This insight is anonymously accessible for everyone in the store, to learn what the store learns.

 Adding to the real retail experience, CornerShop will also house a fully contactless barista experience, serving fresh coffee, self-serve snacks and inspiring content for visitors to engage with.

Gordon Young, Founder, The Drum, concludes, The pandemic has thrown the high street into crisis. Against the odds, we’ve launched Cornershop in the midst of lockdown to prove to brands and retailers that there are inspiring solutions available. We are excited to showcase new experiences, industry innovation and pioneering technologies that can help retailers not just survive but thrive in the post-pandemic world.”

The store is ready to host virtual tours and will welcome visitors in person in the near future, subject to government guidance.

Note to editors:

To request a virtual tour of CornerShop please contact