REIT Innovations creates temporary and permanent retail and entertainment immersive experiences that are both live and digital, and customised for mall owners, investors, retailers, brands, architectural firms and sponsors. Here, RLI speaks with Vicki Lynn, CEO, REIT Innovations and Wendy Moodie, VP Production, REIT Innovations and President, PASES Inc. to discuss what the company offers and what the future holds.
Standing for Retail Entertainment Immersive Technology Innovations, REIT Innovations is a multi-national production company that consists of a global partnership of like-minded professionals under one roof that offers over 20 years of experience in all areas of production.
The team can optimise empty spaces and transform them into environments that generate excitement, revenue and footfall. From conception and design to fabrication and operation, the themes of their activations range from beauty, fashion, wellness and e-sports to music, culture and gastronomy.
They are experts in new technology integration, including Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and they are the ‘go to’ company for the creative development of digital and physical interactive experiences.
“Our original mission was to create live experiences that would address the problem of driving traffic back to malls,” explains Vicki Lynn, CEO of REIT Innovations. “Then Covid-19 hit and what happened was Covid trained consumers to feel more comfortable shopping for items like cosmetics, clothes and homeware online which had not been the case before. Our goal now is to use digital platforms to enhance the live mall and store experience.”
Lynn explains that while the consumer has become very familiar with digital platforms, online has not been able to fully recreate the physical experience and emotion attached to a product purchase. The approach used by REIT Innovations provides both – meeting the consumer’s needs and those of the retailer or brands, enhanced by an experiential setting.
During the crisis, the business pursued new technologies in order to deliver cutting edge entertainment and retail experiences to their clients. Utilising this knowledge, they have the ability to help customers pivot by utilising a variety of technologies and creative production approaches that encourage engagement and retail sales.
“We put safety first, following and implementing all the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. Our offerings include high tech solutions for cleaning live venue experiences as well as contactless retail. Our retail tech with AR and VR gives a fully immersive retail and entertainment experience whether live in person or from the palm of your hand through mobile,” Moodie explains.
Creating entertainment and retail experiences where people can shop, play and connect with their friends is more crucial than ever as people want to be outside of their homes socialising. REIT Innovations can create experiences that are centred around a community and tailored to reflect local tastes, culture and demographics.
“The core objective is to encourage shoppers to come and have a live shopping experience in an immersive art, gaming and cultural setting where products are sold both live and digitally.”
Moodie feels that in order to prioritise and plan for a post-pandemic retail and entertainment industry, businesses will need to produce a digital omni-channel strategy where they can stay alive irrespective of whether stores and malls are open or closed.
“REIT innovations can help you integrate the latest technology such as AR where you can see yourself wearing the makeup, or testing your skin type to determine the best product to purchase. Our approach to AR also includes seeing yourself wearing the clothes so you know which size fits, minimising e-commerce returns,” Lynn explains.
One of the effects of the coronavirus is that an incredible new virtual world has exploded onto the scene and it is affecting lives and how we work, play, shop and are entertained and connected. All of the contactless retail technology as well as e-commerce, live social shopping and all of the social sharing and social media are here to stay and flourish.
“Revolutionary digital technologies like Blockchain, Non-fungible token (NFT) and digital fashion caught on during Covid along with other applications such as Metaverse and digital twins and all these will grow exponentially. We are here to teach and show our clients how and why to use them,” says Lynn.
The company specialise in providing exclusive experiences and the team comes from a mix of live concert, live TV and theme park backgrounds where guest experience is paramount. They want the guest experience to include great staff from the beginning to the end of the experience. The other key factors devising and producing successful retail and entertainment activations are engagement ease of use, the story arc and creating a sense of community.
“When you create and innovate, you need to bring dreams down to reality. It is all about bringing the unseen world of the imagination into the real world. Take chances and don’t be afraid to redo, remake and rethink until you hit the target,” Lynn concludes.