Regular readers of Springwise may remember our article on the Sample Lab tryvertising store in Japan. Now, following a major rebranding exercise, and having renamed to Sample Central, that same company is planning to bring the same experience to Hungary’s Budapest, with a new membership-based store. The first European Sample Central store is set to open in Budapest’s Gozsdu Udvar in August. Operating in a similar way to Sample Lab, the new store allows its members to try out the range of products and services on offer, sometimes in store, but also with options to take a number of products home for free. The only “payment” required is that these members must complete online surveys regarding the products they have sampled, providing feedback to manufacturers which acts as valuable research for development. Once the surveys are completed, the members can book an appointment and return to the store to pick up more items, but at no time are they required to return anything they have sampled. The store in Budapest will boast a powder room for in-store sampling of beauty products, a members-only space, and a product demonstration area. According to a report on Caboodle, the registration fee for the store in Hungary will be HUF 1,490, with an annual membership fee of HUF 5,000. Interestingly, that means the new Hungarian store’s registration and membership fee is nearly twice as much as the original Japanese SampleLab, possibly reflecting the growing value and success of the model for both consumers and suppliers alike. With that in mind, is this a concept to get involved with as it sets up for future launches around the globe?
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