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Kate Spade New York created interactive display tables and shoppable storefronts for Kate Spade Saturday. Now, it’s launched shoppable construction hoarding, the plywood barricades that keep under-construction stores under wraps.

“The goal is to reimagine the construction barricades we use when we open new stores or renovate existing stores,” said Mary Beech, Kate Spade & Co. chief marketing officer. “We imagine it as an interactive experience.”

The brand is using the Science Project’s ShopStage technology platform to embed into the hoarding visual displays, touch screens and products from the collection.

The barriers are giving purpose to underused space in malls that many customers walk past without noticing.

The first barricade went live last week at the Mall at Short Hills, in Short Hills, N.J., where a 2,000-square-foot Kate Spade store is under construction on the second floor. It’s opening on Oct. 24. Jeremy Bergstein, founder of the Science Project, said the barricade was “a reasonable investment. We try to look at every project and make sure it has brand-equity return on investment.”

The barricade, which says “Let’s Play” at the far left, is designed to surprise shoppers and encourage them to take part in the experience, which includes a quick quiz and immersion in the brand. It also offers them a way to shop the Kate Spade collection before the store doors open. 

Each of five touch screens asks only one of the quiz’s five questions, which center on personality traits and style preference. Written in Kate Spade’s whimsical vernacular, the queries include, for example, “What is your idea of a great dinner? Pizza on china, a picnic or dessert first?” After answering all five, the customer receives a personalized statement, such as “Adores pretty things and witty words,” sent directly to her mobile device. In addition, Kate Spade New York chooses a customized collection of products, unique to the customer’s taste, and sends it to her mobile device, along with the offer of complimentary one-day shipping.

Staggered between the touch screens are vitrines, perfectly styled and filled with product such as a grouping of china surrounded by a white frame. Still, the hoarding looks like, well, hoarding. “It’s not so polished. It’s still a barricade in a busy-bee construction zone,” Bergstein said.

As consumers are interacting with the barricade, “Kate Spade is getting crucial data about potential customers,” Bergstein said. “It begins that dialogue,” Beech added. “When the store opens, associates can call and invite customers.”

A second barricade is slated to bow in Florida. “We’re hoping to have one in New York,” Beech said, adding that the barricades are part of a larger “digital ecosystem. We want to create and enhance brand storytelling and experience.”

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