Saks Downtown: Digitized Bricks

The Wall Street Journal: “The newest Saks store, dubbed ‘Saks Downtown’ in lower Manhattan, boasts a slew of web-inspired features aimed at making online and offline shopping a seamless experience … The layout leads shoppers in a circle, mimicking the endless browsing available online … Cash registers are tucked out of sight. Many employees do mobile checkout via iPad.”

“Fitting rooms have plush carpeting, flattering lighting and communal seating … Saks lowered the level of its highest fixtures to about 5-and-1/2 feet, so the shopper can see more of the store. Aiming to offer a range of options on the scale of a website, the small store is making big bets, with more than 1,000 pairs of shoes and more than 800 pairs of sunglasses on display.”

“Saks hopes its stores will benefit from offering online shoppers a customized personal-shopping experience. Visitors to Saks’s ecommerce site can connect with a real human sales associate, not an impersonal bot, which other retail brands are testing … Shoppers get several ways to connect to the employee: Live chat (including notification of whether the associate is available at that moment); appointment scheduling, whether in store, over the phone or online at a later time; and an email form to submit questions.”

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