The service, which White October claims is the first in-store digital search facility, is not an app, but instead appears in the web browser of a customer’s phone when they connect to the in-store WiFi at the new flagship Foyles.
The store, which opens on London’s Charing Cross Road at the former home of Central St Martins on 6 June, has been designed by architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands.
Foyles Book Search can instantly search the availability of 200,000 titles that the store typically has in stock as well as DVDs, CDs, sheet music and gifts.
The project has been nicknamed ‘Ariadne’ by Foyles booksellers, after the mythological figure who guided Theseus through the Labyrinth, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the labyrinthine old Foyles bookshop, with its narrow passageways between teetering piles of books, according to White October.
White October managing director Dave Fletcher says, ‘Retail reports show that shoppers are using digital technology on their retail journeys more than ever.
‘By giving customers the independence to find what they want, Foyles Book Search is a compelling use of digital connectivity which augments the shopping experience for the customer in the store.’