• O2 Business has given a boutique fashion retailer dating back to 1888 a unique ‘technology makeover’ to demonstrate the benefit to small businesses
  • Customers of Tyrers Department Store, in St Helens can now see which outfits are trending online thanks to the UK’s first digital clothes rail
  • Research finds social media is becoming the main influencer to how we shop, with 76% of Brits buying products by people they follow and over one in five (36%) agree that being on trend is a major factor when purchasing clothes

With the Christmas party season fast approaching, O2 Business has today unveiled the UK’s first ‘live-feed’ digital clothing rail which sees sections of a custom made clothing rack light up according to the corresponding outfit’s popularity on social media.

St Helen’s based Tyrers, a family owned business dating back to 1888 and dubbed the ‘Harrods of the North’, has been given a technology makeover by O2 to demonstrate the benefits of digital technology to businesses, no matter the size.

After a full assessment of the company, O2 Business has equipped Tyrers with cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 software, Microsoft Surface tablets and 4G ‘pop up’ offices so staff can work faster, smarter and more efficiently. Employees can now check stock levels, reply to customer queries and communicate with suppliers no matter where they are.

For the next few weeks in the run up to the festive period, customers in store will be able to see which outfits are trending online through illuminated lights on the ‘live-feed’ digital clothing rail. Powered by O2 4G, the rail calculates the likes, comments and shares of a particular outfit on Facebook and Instagram. It then lights up accordingly so customers can see what’s trending in real time.

With over three quarters (78%) of Brits buying a new outfit ahead of the Christmas party season, it’s not just shoppers in St Helens who are considering their options. Research has found that over a fifth of people are basing their look on what is trending on social media, and with the ‘live-feed’ digital rail anyone can tune in and cast their vote on their favourite fashion look, by simply liking and commenting on Tyrers’ Facebook or Instagram pages.

Ben Dowd Business Director at O2 said:

“At O2 we’re passionate about helping businesses embrace the benefits of the latest technology. We’re committed to playing our part which is why our pilot in St Helens is so important.

 We want to help more small businesses grow and thrive in an increasingly digital Britain and our work with Tyrers demonstrates exactly the kinds of benefits our customers can have.”

Ali Tyrer from Tyrers said:

“We’re always looking at how technology can help our bottom line and being an independent business means we are able to try new things.

 O2 Business has really given us the confidence to think about using technology even further, providing hardware and software to make things happen and push the boundaries to become a digitally leading retailer.”

The pilot forms part of O2’s ambitious Digital Communities project in St. Helens designed to inspire people and businesses outside of the nation’s capital to make the most of the digital opportunity.

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