Retail Refresh

Nov 10, 2017


When your best friend is getting married, you’ve got nearly as much to plan as the bride and groom. One of the things on my to-do list was to get a new dress for the bachelorette party. Dallas isn’t limited in the variety and quantity of boutiques available, but one store in particular caught my eye during my dress hunt—LA-based clothing shop, Reformation. I wasn’t aware that any brick and mortar stores existed outside of California or New York—they’ve got a primarily online presence. How could I have not known about this?! The answer: this was their soft opening, and they were operating their first few weeks solely via word of mouth—you couldn’t even find the store yet on Google Maps.

Reformation calls this new Dallas location their “tech concept” store. To set the stage: you walk into the store, there are flat screens mounted all over the walls, iPads on each table surface, and racks of clothes with only one item per style. I was immediately greeted by a stylist who gave me a rundown on the tech concept: customers can browse the racks, find an item of interest, and head to the nearest touch-screen monitor to digitally select the garment size and color and have it “sent” to your fitting room. Once you get to the fitting room, the garment will have arrived via a stylist who is in the backroom pulling inventory and delivering it to your room before you even get there. Magic! And, lest you forget that this a high-tech store, there is a wall mounted iPad in your fitting room so that you can summon new styles or sizes without ever having to ask a stylist for help face to face. I was having a full Jetsons moment at this place.

Given my day job, I’m curious what is being done with the data captured by these touch screens and iPads. Depending on how savvy Reformation really is, my future Reformation experiences should change based on my interests this shopping trip. After just one visit, they are privy to a lot of my personal preferences: clothing size, what colors and patterns I favor, the fact that I am more prone to trying on dresses than I am to trying on skirts, etc. Hopefully, next time I swipe through the virtual racks, my available selection is tailored to what Reformation has learned about my interests. If they’ve really got their act together, they’ll avoid showing me garments altogether if my size is out of stock.

By incorporating innovative technology into the store, Reformation was able to enhance my shopping experience and make it a unique and memorable trip. Safe to say I’ll be back—at the very least to see how the technology engages with me during my next shopping trip.

And not to worry, I left the store with a bachelorette party dress in hand.