St Petersburg’s grand Au Pont Rouge department store is now home to a robotic shopping system, which forms part of the creation of an open exhibition retail space within the venue.
The 110-year-old department store, reminiscent of such European stores as Galleries Lafayette in Paris or London’s Selfridges, became the project of Hong Kong-based architecture studio Cheungvogl.
“The global shift towards online shopping and the reshape of consumerism has rendered many classical department stores and the retail model obsolete [...] on the brink of the current fourth industrial revolution, which interlinks information technologies with automated processes in all aspects of life, there is an immediate need to rethink the core values of the future retail model,” the architects said in a statement.
With this in mind, Cheungvogl has established a robotic shopping system within the space: customers use a mobile app to scan items, which adds them to a virtual basket, then forwarding the items to the point of sale or preparing them for delivery.
A venue of contrasts, in 2011 Au Pont Rouge’s exterior was restored to its original state, while the distinctive art-nouveau staircase, balustrades and windows have also been returned to their former glory.