The Dandy Lab powered by UCL

The Dandy Lab was an interactive men’s lifestyle shop that curated and sold exclusive British brands.
July 2015 – February 2016

Powered by University College London and based at 73 Brushfield Street, Old Spitalfields Market in London, The Dandy Lab was part fashion retail shop and part retail lab for testing cutting edge technologies. The pop up concept shop traded over a 6-month period, which The Dandy Lab team worked closely with technology start-ups to deploy, gather data and re-iterate their solutions.

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The Retail Lab

Spanning over two floors and across 1100 square feet, the shop opened for trading in August 2015. In the retail lab we explored two areas that are predicted to impact the future of retail:
1. Fashion Retailing: Trialing new strategies such as ShopShare and using Physical Retail as Media platform.
2. Retail Technology Innovations: Trialling new technologies in a real customer facing environment and researching strategies for effective integration of technology into customer journeys.

Download our white paper "Pioneering London’s Retail Ecosystem" to find out the what we learnt at the Retail Lab. It covers the retail strategies and technologies that we explored and the key insights that we found. Below is a taster of what is covered.'
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Fashion Retailing

In order to stay ahead of the competition, retailers need to continually review their store formats and retailing models in order to stay fresh and constantly attract existing and new customers. We wanted to explore two concepts: ShopShare and Physical Retail as Media to measure the affect they will have on our business.

We activated a total of 52 British product brands on a ShopShare basis ranging from completely new start-ups such as Syndicut, McNair, and Clement & Claude, to more established brands such as Smyth & Gibson and Czech & Speake. 65% of the brands originated from London and 57% were exclusive to the store

The Dandy Lab was proud to be the only UK shop and the second city in Europe to host the OnePlusX smartphone launch in November 2015.

"Retailers and curators are literally building businesses on top of the We Are Pop Up platform using ShopShare as a quick route to market, or a tool to curate a unique retail experience. As a result, brands are booking short-term retail space for anything from a day to 6 months plus and changing the retail landscape in London."- Abigail Freeman, Marketing Director, We Are Pop Up

One plus One launch night

Watch the video of the launch night

Retail Technology Innovations

'Fast moving mobile technologies have a significant impact on shopping habits so retailers must adapt quickly and implement technologies relevant to their target customer demographics.

We created the retail lab to continually iterate the design of the customer journey and help nurture better solutions to address the mindsets of the tech-savvy millennials. The lab provided a perfect environment for us to test innovative retail technology and offer feedback to the companies so they could iterate and improve their solutions.

We could then better integrate the technology into The Dandy Lab’s customer journey for a seamless multichannel experience. Through manual and digital A/B testing we collated rich data sets that we used as a basis for our business decisions.

"As a fully immersive digital transformation experience, Cisco was able to demonstrate the possibilities of disrupting the retail industry. The value of collaborating with many partners and start-ups highlights how we can be truly innovative." - Jackie Nixon, UK & Ireland Marketing Director, Cisco

Press Coverage

The Dandy Lab was featured in more than 30 titles within the 6-month period and was the central theme for BBC Click! TV programme in December 2015. We were nominated for two awards at the Internet Retailing Awards 2015: ‘The Digital Store Award’ and ‘Market Entry’.

The Leadership Team

Peter Jeun Ho Tsang

Peter Jeun Ho Tsang


Peter’s background is in fashion retailing and product development, where he has consulted for various international brands. Peter holds an MA in Digital Fashion from London College of Fashion, where he is also an Associate Lecturer. He is currently developing academic research looking at 'the future of retail' and consumer behaviour within smart retail environments.

Julija Bainiaksina

Julija Bainiaksina


Julija’s background is in engineering and data and spatial analysis. She holds a MEng in Civil Engineering from University College London where she is also a PhD candidate for data science for smart retail environments. She has worked with various retail-tech start-ups to help them to integrate their solutions into existing retail operations.

Insight Workshops & Presentations

The Dandy Lab team is delivering insight workshops and presentations on the findings from the 6-month retail lab. Find out more in-depth what we have found to be the blueprint for smart retail environments of the future and how we derived our methodology and data sets. For more information and to book please contact us at


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