Reinventing the impact of vending

Many brands are reinventing vending to create impact, engagement and deliver unique omnichannel experiences. Within our insights report this week, we explore a new type of vending that can provide unique opportunities for brand promotion and consumer engagement. Looking beyond traditional drinks and snacks vending machines, below is a snippet of just some of the things that vending can do…

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Launched initially at Nike by Melrose in LA, the ‘NikePlus Unlock Box’ has since been introduced into other Nike Live stores. NikePlus Members can use the digital vending machine to claim free gifts by scanning their member QR code on the NikePlus app. Free gifts include items such as a pair of Nike socks, with new rewards ready to be unlocked every 2 weeks, encouraging consumers to regularly come into store. It’s a fun, interactive experience and attracts attention within the store environment – when we were last in Nike by Melrose a steady flow of people came to unlock their free gifts.



Customers purchase SodaStream CO2 cylinders to make sparking water and once empty they can be returned and exchanged for a full cylinder. To make this process easier and more efficient, SodaStream have installed reverse vending machines across Europe and the USA. Rather than having to queue at a customer service desk or check-out, customers place the empty cylinder in the reverse vending machine to receive a voucher as a credit for a new CO2 refill. Cylinders are then returned to refill plants to be cleaned, filled and sealed for reuse, facilitating a sustainable loop system.


Lululemon introduced a digital vending machine stocked with running accessories, located on popular running routes in New York City and Chicago. All products in the vending machines were free prizes that include Honey Stinger energy chews, first aid accessories and Lululemon hats and socks. Runners claimed their free prizes by registering with their email address, answering a short questionnaire and posting a picture on social media with ‘thesweatlife’ hashtag. As well as raising brand awareness the vending machine allowed Lululemon to capture data specific to running consumers in the areas.


The luxury jewellery brand Tiffany & Co. created a premium perfume vending machine to dispense the brands first fragrance. Located within the brands contemporary London, Covent Garden boutique where creativity and playfulness are encouraged, the bespoke vending machine is designed to appeal the boutique’s Millenial and Gen-Z customers by providing unique shopping experience. Payment is via contactless or chip and pin, and was one of the first vending machines in the UK to allow transactions above £30 to accomodate the high price points.

If you need support developing innovative retail solutions that get between the lines, we can help. Contact Jenny Hillier at



Jenny Hillier

29th March 2021