A new retail space devised by McKinsey aims to entice consumers back to physical stores through the use of futuristic interactive technology
Consultancy firm McKinsey is more used to advising on the future of retail than demonstrating it – but the company has opened a new tech-based store concept to show how bricks-and-mortar still has a role to play in shopping.
The Modern Retail Collective project claims to use the “power of technologies” to transform the customer experience in America’s largest shopping centre — the Mall of America, in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Shoppers will be able to use augmented reality mirrors to “virtually” try on items without fitting rooms, use software to select the correct size for clothing, and put products in a “virtual shopping basket” with a single tap.
Then, when they’ve completed their virtual shopping spree, customers can pay for it all with cryptocurrency.
Praveen Adhi, retail operations lead at McKinsey, said: “Modern Retail Collective will unlock the power of multiple technologies working together to cultivate pioneering insights retailers need to transform their customer experience.
“Through this project, we’ll produce cutting-edge data and analytics to help retailers define their own vision for their store of the future.”
Technology key to future of bricks-and-mortar retail
The consultancy hopes new technologies can help revive the ailing US brick-and-mortar retail sector, as 8,000 stores have closed in the past year.
McKinsey’s retail stores practice lead Tiffany Burns said: “Retailers are experiencing many pressures as they navigate the evolving retail landscape.
“Modern Retail Collective will provide insights to retailers exploring opportunities to re-imagine the store through new in-store experiences and technologies that will enhance customer experience and overall store performance.”
McKinsey claims 60% of US consumers either research or buy a product using a “digital touchpoint”.
It said these shoppers spend more, purchase twice as often and engage with the brand’s products over longer periods of time compared to single-channel shoppers.
Mall of America’s senior vice president of business development Jill Renslow said: “Mall of America recognises the importance of evolving the consumer experience and has been leading efforts to help current and new tenants alike succeed in the everchanging retail landscape.
“Modern Retail Collective will offer brands a flexible environment to test new technology and discover what resonates with their customers.”