Why Retailers Are Trying On Showrooms

by MR Magazine Staff

Retail is going through a monumental transition period, to say the least. Giants of industry, such as Macy’s and J.C. Penney, are struggling to find focus and customers, while formerly pure-play e-commerce newcomers such as Bonobos and MM. LaFleur have increasingly branched out into brick-and-mortar locations. Even Wal-Mart has begun exploring new ideas with its tech incubator, Store No. 8. It’s also reportedly in advanced talks to acquire Bonobos for about $300 million. In addition, Modcloth, which was recently purchased by Wal-Mart-owned Jet.com, opened its first permanent showroom in Austin, TX in January. But many of these new stores don’t look like the retail spaces of the past, nor do they function like traditional brick-and-mortar stores. One of the more intriguing ideas beginning to trend in fashion circles is the showroom. Like automotive, mattress and furniture showrooms, the concept stores offer shoppers the ability to test, try and touch the merchandise, then opt for home delivery instead of carry-out. It’s an appealing idea for stores looking for a way to reduce square footage, certainly. But not all stores can make the idea work — and not all customers are ready to change the way they shop. Read more at Retail Dive.