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Innovative shop window launches in Welsh shopping centres

The Ffenestr Siop Cywain at St David’s Dewi Sant Shopping Centre in Cardiff.

A new window of opportunity has opened for Christmas shoppers across Wales with the launch of an innovative high street experience with a digital-twist.

Ffenestr Siop Cywain (Cywain Shop Window) is a new retail initiative to provide Welsh food and drink producers with a wider shop window, and customers with easy access to a fantastic range of products, ahead of the festive season.

With commercial premises in five high profile shopping locations, the Ffenestr Siop Cywain project features windows filled with local food and drink products – each displaying a QR code.

Instead of entering the shop to buy, the public can browse the window, and by pointing their smartphone camera at a particular product’s QR code, they will be directed to the producer’s website.

The shops have been developed by Cywain, a Menter a Busnes project which supports the development of growth-orientated businesses in the food and drink sector in Wales.

Ffenestri Siop Cywain are operating around Wales, in the following locations: Cardiff (St David’s Dewi Sant Shopping Centre), Carmarthen (St Catherine’s Walk), Aberystwyth (Terrace Road), Caernarfon (Bangor Road), and Llandudno (Shopping Centre).

The Ffenestr Siop Cywain initiative follows in the footsteps of Deli Myrddin. This project saw Cywain set up shop in Carmarthen in the run-up to Christmas 2019, and provided local food and drink producers with valuable public exposure.

Rolant Tomos, Cywain’s Innovation and New Market Team Leader, said, “We had a fantastic response to Deli Myrddin, so we initially planned to replicate the project in more Welsh locations. However, the onset of Covid-19 has meant we have had to adapt our retail model. So, we developed the idea of creating real shop windows but using technology to buy goods.

“We are excited to be launching the Ffenestr Siop Cywain project. It’s a very new idea, and gives shoppers the opportunity to browse the high street and see a physical gift before buying online. This retail initiative brings together the best of both worlds, and we’d like to thank all our partner organisations who have helped us to create Ffenestri Siop Cywain in prime locations throughout Wales.”

Ffenestr Siop Cywain complements Cywain’s work helping Welsh food and drink businesses to access new markets, and encourage the public to support local producers in these difficult times.

Earlier this year, Cywain launched its #SupportLocalSupportWales campaign. It includes a map (cywain.cymru) of producers across Wales who offer online shopping and delivery services.

Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said, “The run-up to Christmas is different this year, but there are ways people can easily access a wealth of Welsh food and drink.

“Ffenestr Siop Cywain is an innovative addition to the tremendous on-going work to make people aware of how easy it is to access fantastic local food and drink. It has been an incredibly tough year for producers, and I’m sure Ffenestr Siop Cywain will provide them with a much-needed boost as we enter the festive period.”