Microclimate Pod simulates Mount Snowdon weather

A sports store is using a ‘microclimate pod’ to simulate the extreme weather conditions of Mount Snowdon – so walkers can try out the latest hiking gear before they face the 3,560 ft mountain.

The booth mimics the temperature, sounds and even the smells of Wales’ biggest mountain allowing shoppers to experience the harsh conditions ahead of their trek.

Rather than attempt the soaring peak unprepared, shoppers can put footwear, trousers and backpacks to the test to see if the items meet their needs.

Barclaycard partnered with sports retailer, Decathlon, to recreate the microclimate experience for prospective adventurers visiting the Surrey Quays store.

The pod, which also features a backdrop view of the mountain itself and native plant life, was developed to make ‘click & collect’ shopping more ‘hands on’.

Christian Baggaley, head of operations at Decathlon UK, said:

“We have seen a real increase in the number of shoppers opting to use click & collect since 2017 and are constantly looking at ways to make the overall shopping experience better for our customers.

“That’s why we are excited to collaborate with Barclaycard on this trial – to further encourage shoppers into our stores so they can experience everything it has to offer.”

The development of the Mount Snowdon simulator follows research of 250 retailers which found 72 per cent believe click and collect services could boost high street footfall.

A separate study of 2,000 adults carried out through OnePoll found seven in 10 now use the service – twice a month on average. However 15 per cent often don’t manage to make it to the shop to collect their purchases.

It’s estimated this works out to be of £228 million worth of uncollected goods every year.

Thirty per cent of those who haven’t collected their purchase described the click & collect process as a ‘hassle’ – preferring to wait for a refund before re-ordering for home delivery.

Other gripes include long wait times, poorly staffed collection points, struggles to find the designated click and collect area – and having to pay for the service.

But half of adults said they would be more likely to pick up their order if merchants incentivised them with special offers or experiences.

Kirsty Morris, director, Barclaycard Payment Solutions, said: “Click & collect is a win-win for both retailers and consumers.

“Brands have the opportunity to not only increase the number of shoppers through their doors but also to reduce costs and returns, while generating revenue from ‘click & collectors’ purchasing additional items in-store.

“Enhancing the click & collect experience is a potentially lucrative way for retailers to ward off the unprecedented challenges of the high street and bridge the gap between online and in-store shopping.”

The microclimate experience is available for click & collect shoppers to try out at the Decathlon Surrey Quays store between 20th and 23rd August.

Chris Price