One of the highlights of the fifth annual Retail Innovation Conference will be the Hudson Yards Store Tours that will be held from 2-5 p.m. on Monday, May 6. These curated, guided tours will be led by the Retail Store Tours group and feature retail leaders showing off the latest innovations at Hudson Yards, New York City’s newest luxury shopping destination. The tour will be divided into five “floors,” each one focusing on a different aspect of the shopper experience.
Floor One: Elegant Innovation And Discovery
The first floor of the tour is focused on the discovery aspect of the customer journey and stores that disrupt the traditional shopping experience. The highlighted retailers are Brooks Brothers, which will show off a new global design concept that features in-store mobile clienteling and uses AI to assist with supply chain challenges; and Conservatory, an exclusive e-Commerce site exclusively for Hudson Yards shoppers. Customers can speak with a sales associate in-store to get an account that lets them access the “hidden” online site.
Floor Two: Innovative Retail Models: From Digital To Brick-And-Mortar
More and more e-Commerce pure-plays are entering the brick-and-mortar space. The second series of stops on the store tour will look at how these online companies are using physical spaces, including three whose first stores will be on full display:
- Lovepop, a greeting card retailer that specializes in 3D paper pop-up cards, has an in-store touchscreen mirror that shows off the retailer’s entire digital catalogue at its first physical location;
- M.Gemi, an Italian shoe brand, includes a charging station, lounge seating and a coffee bar in its first-ever store, along with VIP shopping appointments and ongoing community events;
- Mack Weldon, a men’s apparel retailer, uses tablets to show off the brand’s innovative fabrics, loyalty program and try-on guarantee at its first store;
- B8ta, which allows shoppers to try e-Commerce-only products in-store, harnesses retail as a service technology to help brands place their products in-store, and to manage and analyze the experience;
- Stance, a sock, underwear and T-shirt retailer, shows off its “Punks & Poets” aesthetic at its Hudson Yards shop;
- Frankie CoLab combines New York's incomparable energy with the unique spirit of Los Angeles in its apparel;
- Milk & Honey Babies, an eco-friendly baby products retailer, encourages purchases with a beach-inspired boutique;
- Batch, a home goods retailer, designs its stores like a stylish friend’s home and introduces new “Batches” six times a year to keep things fresh;
- Drug Store is a conceptual retail experience where shoppers can drink cocktails and try out new beverage concepts before they’re produced on a national scale; and
- Snark Park, a blend of art, architecture and retail that will host three different installations every year.
Floor Three: Retail As A Destination
Creating a unique shopping experience is important, particularly for a luxury-focused location like Hudson Yards. Several well-known retailers will why their stores aren’t just stores, but destinations in and of themselves, including:
- Lululemon, which puts an emphasis on strong employee training to deliver a relevant in-store customer experience;
- Athleta, which engages local customers through numerous in-store and community events throughout the year;
- Sephora, which is enhancing the in-store experience through interactive technology such as Color IQ, which allows shoppers to select makeup and see how it looks on them; and
- Verizon Wireless, which created a store with a minimalist design where shoppers can try out products with the help of educated associates.
Floor Four: Experiences That Inspire Shopping
The fourth stop on the tour looks at two locations that are about more than just shopping. Micro Kickboard features an in-store test track at its first flagship store that lets shoppers try before they buy the brand’s kickboards, scooters and ride-on luggage. 3DEN offers shoppers a break from the rush with a pay-as-you-use space that includes access to Casper nap pods, showers, a meditation room, soundproof phone booths, and coffee and snacks.
Floor Five: Out-Of-The-Box Retail
The final floor delivers retail experiences that go above and beyond what shoppers expect. Forty Five Ten occupies four different storefronts, each with a focus on a different apparel category, while the new Neiman Marcus flagship brings experiential retailing to a whole new level with a performance stage, three dining venues, a personal shopping suite, a demo kitchen, digital directories and 60 digital screens delivering real-time content.
While the Store Tours end there, the Retail Innovation Conference features two more days of insightful content and valuable networking opportunities with an array of retail industry executives. Other highlights of the event include:
- A fireside chat with retail legend Nicole Miller;
- Insights into innovation at Macy’s from Innovation VP Parinda Muley;
- Two Women’s Leadership panels, with speakers from e.l.f. Cosmetics, Wayfair, Retailwinds, TechStyle Fashion Group and more; and
- Keynotes featuring industry experts Brian Solis, Deb Gabor and Jeff Fromm.
Retail executives interested in attending the RIC19 Store Tours can register by securing an All-Access Pass to the Retail Innovation Conference. Spots on the tour are limited, so register now.
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