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Pioneering virtual reality customer center opened by AkzoNobel in the UK

Retailers in the UK can now immerse themselves in the customer experience and view product innovations before they go to market at a new high tech customer center opened by AkzoNobel and its Dulux brand.

Located in Slough, the 6,400 square foot facility houses industry first virtual reality technology which enables visitors to explore different store environments and experiment with product layout.

"We're really excited about this new facility, which is designed to inspire customers by delivering a real step change in the customer experience," explained Matt Pullen, Managing Director of AkzoNobel UK & Ireland. "It will also help to cement our place as an industry leader in technology and design and enable us to work collaboratively to unlock future growth in our industry."

Offering a completely immersive experience, the center includes an innovation lab and living zone which brings current and future decorative trends to life. Other features include a showcase store environment, as well as indoor and outdoor hospitality spaces.

The centrepiece, however, is the virtual reality installation, which gives retailers the chance to create and trial potential store layouts so they can instantly weigh up the impact, convenience and fit of different in-store display options before products hit the shelves.

"Our product and service offer can now be more tailored to individual customer needs," added Pullen. "The center will enable us to help customers visualize and experiment with new design options and is the perfect showcase to lift the lid on product and service innovations before they come to market."

The center is situated next to the recently launched Dulux Academy. Opened in March this year, the academy is designed to offer more than 4,000 people a year advanced training in areas such as product knowledge, application techniques and the essential principles of color, design and sustainability.

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