Sephora has recently opened a new store concept in Paris named Sephora Flash. The purpose of the store is to try the new technologies in store to improve the shopping experience. You will see a video (in French) below showing you how the shopping experience goes.
The key concept in the shopping experience is the NFC cards allowing the shopper to get information on the product and compose their "digital basket". The idea is simple, based on showrooming: The store, whith counts only for 100 square meters, holds as much products as their larger store of 1 500 m2. How, simply because they have very few stock in the shop. They count on home delivery and the day after delivery in store.
Now, to me, the concept has been base on the problematic of the size of the store. The goal is probably to propose the larger product range as possible (the one the standard concept needs) in smaller places.
Moreover, the retailer has an opportunity to test its new technologies in order to understand better how to use them in terms of customer relationship management. This is the reason why they have a robot to give advices on top of the standard employees they usually have.
Now The only thing that seems to be lacking is obviously beacons. Because why would people use small NFC cards while they could use their phones to have extra content, even maybe more personalized?
Also, it is interesting to have a look at what Sephora does with this store, as obiously the luxury goods and cosmetics product categories are most of the time in advance in terms of usage of new technology and new trends. Even if you are a FMCG retailer you shall have a look at this cutting edge concept.