Hudson’s Bay Stores Roll Out Apple’s iBeacon Technology in Canada [u]

Hudson’s Bay, along with its U.S. sibling retailer Lord & Taylor have announced this morning they are the first retail chains in North American to roll out iBeacon technology at free-standing locations and select malls in Canada and the U.S.

The iBeacons will be implemented in merchandising areas within stores, to deliver personalized offers and ‘branded content’ to in-store shoppers, available in official company or third party apps.

Both companies are using beacon marketing platform Swirl to implement Apple’s iBeacon technology, to deliver content based on location and user behaviour at stores, which users opt-in to.

Why opt in

Michael Crotty, Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Hudson’s Bay Company and Lord & Taylor, said in a statement “Beacon technology is the future of retail marketing and Swirl’s platform will assist us to make every visit to Hudson’s Bay or Lord & Taylor even more rewarding for our customers.”

Rob Murphy from Swirl sent us a couple images below of how these beacons will look like in store:

SecureCast TM Beacon 01

SecureCast TM Beacon 02

We previously heard about a pop-up store within Hudson’s Bay which implemented iBeacons back in June, while the Toronto Eaton Centre setup iBeacons earlier this month.

The HBC Department Store Group has over 130 Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor retail stores across North America.

Let us know if you get a chance to try this out at your local Hudson’s Bay store. The flagship Toronto location has it already setup and ready to go.

Update: Swirl says these Hudson’s Bay locations have iBeacons live at the moment: Toronto (Queen St flagship & Yorkdale Plaza) as well as Calgary, Vancouver, and Ottawa.

Update 2 July 29, 2014: Swirl tells us the Hudson’s Bay app still needs to be updated to support iBeacons, hence why some of you haven’t gotten it to work yet:

The general Hudson’s Bay app hasn’t yet been enabled with this new capability.  Currently, the SnipSnap coupon app is fully enabled and will work in the Vancouver store. Coming soon will be the Hudson’s Bay Gift Registry app. Other apps will be added in the future.

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  • Confused

    So how does this work?

    Spent half an hour walking around HBC dowtown Vancouver trying to figure out how to use this.

    Installed HBC app, looks like it’s just a web page wrapped in an app shell?

    “Nearby stores” reported none even though I was in the store and allowed location access.

    Unable to find any kind of in-store navigation features, location-based content, etc.

    If someone as determined as me to try it is unable to figure out how to, I’m not sure they’re going to have much luck reaching any actual shoppers.

  • Here’s the reply after we reached out to Swirl:

    “The general Hudson’s Bay app hasn’t yet been enabled with this new capability. Currently, the SnipSnap coupon app is fully enabled and will work in the Vancouver store. Coming soon will be the Hudson’s Bay Gift Registry app. Other apps will be added in the future.”

    So yeah, it didn’t work for you because the HBC app isn’t updated yet, which seems odd since this announcement was made.