NEW OPTIONS FOR RETAIL’S FUTURE

In SUNDAY ON THE HILL we talk about a number of business innovations for the present and future.      One future possibility for the reinvention of retail is Yael Alflalo”s Reformation women’s clothing “tech stores” wherein the customer checks one of the large touch screens in the store, chooses what she’d like to try on, then relaxes with refreshments while the items are delivered to her dressing room.  If, after trying on, the items aren’t what was desired, she pings the screen in her dressing room to bring additional items.  E-commerce makes up 80% of Reformation’s business, but Alflalo firmly believes that “the store experience is becoming more important and that companies that capture the heart and minds of their customers are going to win.”  Reformation also uses the in-store tech data to merge customers’ online and in-store activity in order to improve recommendations.  Millennial women who are prepared to purchase fairly pricey clothing items are enamored with the experience.  A large portion of the clothing is made in a Los Angeles factory that is also used as the hub for photo shoots, engineering, shipments and returns.  The company does a rapid design-to-rack cycle of 42 days.  And, although the current clothing line is upscale, the idea for the future is to establish the brand and the customer following, and then expand to mass marketing.  The wave of the future – ?  Quite possibly – we’ll keep our eyes on the progress!

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