Once again Mönchengladbach was selected as a model city for an innovative retail trade project:, formerly refered to as Fashion Micro Hub. Among more than 30 exciting project ideas, the WFMG together with the EWMG was able to win the third round of the project call “Digital and stationary retail trade thinking together” in November 2019. A jury from science, business and administration recommended a total of five projects with a total volume of 1.3 million euros for funding.

Following the success of the mg.retail 2020 research project and the follow-up project “MG on eBay”, WFMG started the project with the aim of once again setting an example for the future of the retail trade in NRW with an inner-city digital pick-up and test center for clothing ordered online. “With the establishment and operation of in a previously vacant location in the upper city of Mönchengladbach, we want to move customers who have purchased clothing online back into the city centre by means of an innovative concept for picking up the fashion items ordered,” says Dr. Ulrich Schückhaus, Managing Director of WFMG. The combination of an intelligent digital mirror that enables communication with friends during the fitting, or alternative live advice from friends during the fitting and the connection of a café, is intended to increase customer frequency in the city centre and strengthen the stationary trade by means of complementary local purchases by the users of the hub.

The advantage for online customers is that they can return the goods immediately on site if they do not like them or if they do not fit properly, without having to lug parcels around, but if they do like them, they can also take the goods with them without the need for annoying repackaging. In addition, they are more independent when it comes to delivery, as they do not have to be at a certain place at a certain time.

After a Corona-related delay, opened its doors in July 2021 and had a year to test whether the concept would be accepted by the citizens of Mönchengladbach. The concept was rounded off by a local gastronomy offer. At the end of the project period in August 2022, will then close its doors. Due to the reluctance of customers in a still strong pandemic, the optimization of delivery to the customer by the CEP service provider as well as a still high home office rate, the hoped-for response could not be achieved. The entire project will now be examined again for all factors and influences in order to identify which project elements can be optimized.