The role of the store is evolving and going beyond sales transactions (See a list of stores with the best customer experience in New York). Physical stores can have different roles like flagship, brandship, showroom, fulfillment center, pop-up store. In fact, the biggest store is in our pocket and it´s a cell phone. Reinventing retail is about understanding the customer and employee journey journey. It´s about storytelling, community and authenticity.
Nike by Melrose (LA) is another interesting store concept that includes curated assortment (in-store sales and e-commerce “listening”), omnichannel capabilities and customization, while stocking the latest styles and refreshing them on a weekly basis. Their staff is made of Nike Experts, that know about sports, trends and what´s hot in the neighborhood.
In Why is there a lack of excitement when Millennials visit Department Stores?, I spoke about how Department stores are struggling to get what the customer journey means. Today, store should cover experiential and emotional needs while Online covers basic needs, the bottom of Maslow´s Pyramid. Therefore, bricks shouldn´t play the game of selling fashion as commodities or basics. This value proposition is reserved to low-cost brands or outlets.
Nordstrom, the american fashion retailer founded in 1901, innovated its store format following this approach. This is a smaller and no-inventory store format. Visitors won’t find racks of clothing and shoes, but instead a coffee and juice bar, and a manicure and beauty salon. Nordstrom Local are convenient hubs for online order pickup, onsite alterations, fast and easy returns, free Personal Stylists, and much more. A concept store that goes beyond the standards and already opened in Los Angeles and Santa Monica (California).
These stores focus on personal services such as personal styling, beauty and tailoring. It includes omnichannel services such as:
- Buy Online & Pick Up in Store
- Reserve Online & Try in Store
- Easy Returns & Exchanges
- Easy Returns to Any Online Retailer (any dot.com retailer return for a flat fee of $5USD to cover shipping costs)
Other services that improve customer experience beyond selling clothes are:
- Curbside Pickup: Select Pick up in store, and they will walk your order out to your car.
- Onsite Alterations: tailoring services.
- Personal Stylists & Trunk Club (Nordstrom adquired Trunk Club in 2014).
- Gift Wrapping: Any gift purchased wrapped for $5, plus the cost of the wrapping paper.
- Black Tux Tuxedo Rentals: Black Tuc Tuxedo designs and manufactures modern rental suits and tuxedos made of 100% wool. you can feel the quality of their collection and test the fit before you rent.
- Dry Cleaning
- Barber: Nordstrom partnered with LA mainstay Baxter of California to offer haircuts, beard trims, neck cleanups and more.
- Cobbler: repair and cleaning of shoes, sneakers, handbags and luggage.
- Base Coat: fresh manicures and gel manicures, polish changes, gel removal and nail art.
- Grab & Go Food: fresh, affordable and healthy selections to take away.
- Goodwill Donation Drop-Off
DTLA, The Bloc (L.A.)