The vision of Amazon.com Inc. for the departmental stores of the future comprises algorithmic recommendations and a “magic closet” in the fitting room, according to one corporate director of the company.
The online retailer has announced that it will build its first-ever clothes store this year, with a digital twist, in an effort to expand its fashion business.
Simoina Vasen, a managing director, said, “We wouldn’t undertake anything in physical retail unless we felt we could considerably improve the customer experience.”
The planned “Amazon Style” store near Los Angeles is smaller than a standard department store at 30,000 square feet (2,787 square metres). Models are on the racks, and consumers use Amazon’s mobile app to scan a code to choose the colour and size they want.
A virtual queue for a fitting room is the first place a consumer has to enter into and which is unlocked with the smartphone when it is ready. Following this, consumers will be allowed to try on the clothes which are stored in the back.
Describing the concept, Vasen said that the inside of the dressing room is “a personal space for you to continue shopping without ever having to leave.” She said that each room comprises of a touchscreen that will allow shoppers to request more items that are to be delivered by the staff to a secure, two-sided closet “within minutes.”
“It’s like a magic closet with seemingly endless selection,” Vasen said.
Shoppers can also get suggestions from the touchscreens. Amazon keeps track of every item a customer scans in order to tailor apparel recommendations. Customers can also participate in a style survey. Employees have already deposited customers’ requested products as well as Amazon-selected items by the time they arrive in a fitting room.
Customers can opt-out with the help of a concierge, according to Amazon.
Before, Amazon announced technology to assist buyers in selecting clothing. According to analyst data, the firm has eclipsed Walmart Inc as the most-shopped clothes retailer in the United States.
However, it still has space to grow and compete with smaller-format retailers such as Macy’s Inc and Nordstrom Inc. Amazon’s physical grocery and convenience stores have yet to disrupt traditional retail.
Vasen declined to name specific products but said the company’s new store seeks to appeal to a wide variety of customers.
It employs hundreds of people and does not use a cashier-less checkout system like some Amazon locations, according to Vasen. Customers can still pay with a sweep of their palm using Amazon One, a biometric technology.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)