From production to experience (Industrie 4.0) – a short portrait of an experimental store in Berlin, Germany
German Adidas tested up to March 11, 2017 in a new Pop-up store, and under the name „Knit for You“, the clothing manufacture of the future. The store in the shopping Mall Bikini in Berlin, Germany is the site where the brand with the three significant strips is testing a local and personalised product manufacture in-store. adidas invites creative consumers to create their personal Knit for You sweater and to produce it within a few hours at the site. The finished product will become “the preferred sweater to go.”
The Pop-up Store offered state-of-the-art technologies for the personalisation of products – from individual measuring by body scans to the fitting of the product design, all according to the taste and style of each customer. With this method the consumer will follow each step of production and receives a product with individual design and fit for its own needs.
The Knit for You Store in Berlin is the first milestone in the framework of the research project STOREFACTORY from Adidas that is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy. Storefactory allows experts from industry and science to evaluate how new, flexible production processes allow consumers personalised possibilities and new digital experiences in stores.
STOREFACTORY offers customers the possibility to form and design their dream product and let these produced on site. The experimental store and production is located in Germany’s capital city of Berlin. The aim with the project Storefactory is to gain more knowledge of the acceptance of an individualised, and by Industrie 4.0 marked buying process through personal experience in the store.
Industry 4.0 has the focus on the automatization of production processes and to make these more autonomous, faster, flexible and economic. Industrie 4.0 will also change consumer habits. Today, it cannot be foreseen how customers will make use of the new technical possibilities such as how consumer will live the multi-facetted individualisation and what their subjective experiences will be. Storefactory evaluates such impacts on consumers.
The goal of the project Storefactory is the founding of a continuous digital value chain that will intelligently combine the various steps of an individualised shopping experience, meaning from the individual tailor made product to match the specific physical characters and to meet the aesthetic desires of each consumer up to the manufacturing of his product. This on site and within the shortest possible timeframe.
For example, for the entire production process „knitting“, the entire processing chain will be developed, digitally transposed, erected in the store and tested for three months. For the first time ever, design data, product specification and manufacture of the product will be interlinked. The consumer will have the possibility to witness each step of the production process and can influence it by adding his individual wishes. Thus, he will become as a person his own designer, producer, and consumer.
At the same time the consumer has an insight on the spot into the production process of his product that will entail innovative and sustainable materials. The project will also enable a more efficient, demand accurate production, meaning that the production will consist of what the customer really needs. In turn long stocking time and overproduction of articles will become obsolete.
The flexibility and agility of the production of individualised products allows to screen trends in real time, to transpose them quickly and to forecast them. By doing so, the consumer will mature to trendsetter, because he can actively influence trends with his own creations.
Within the framework of the project a pilot in-store-production will be developed. Different scenarios of an integrated production can take place with the aim to bring the manufacture of the product closer to the consumer.
The consortium of the pilot store: adidas AG (Lead function); F.G. Meier GmbH; Lehrstuhl Graphische Datenverarbeitung der FAU Universität Nürnberg Erlangen LGDV; ITA/RWTH Aachen; Uedelhoven Studios Ingolstadt.