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We Believe


We believe that traditional retail has to change

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We Believe


We believe that traditional retail has to change

Wasted energy, resources, space and time will not be sustainable.

Our planet simply can’t support inefficient models of retail for the already 4 billion+ people that is projected to rapidly double in the coming years. 

The entirety of processes around design, sourcing, production, shipping, buying, sharing and discovering has to evolve with it. We don’t need to give all the stats here. But if you aren’t aware, the earth’s resources are in crisis. More importantly, the way we conduct commerce is critical to our longevity as a species.

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Why will changing retail help


Why will changing retail help save the world?

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Why will changing retail help


Why will changing retail help save the world?

BECAUSE, AT OUR CORE, WE ARE CONSUMERS.

How we consume is critical to everything we do. Combining physical and digital isn’t merely about the sexiness of the future of customer experience, it’s essential to our future as a species. Responsible consumption isn’t just about doing more with less, it is about inspiring customers in ways that are more efficient, healthy and smart. Retail and shopping are often marketed to gluttonous appeal. Sales associates are often not trusted or respected. We need an attainable change in how we conduct commerce with intention and we need it now.

Millions of entry-level jobs depend on retail.

The digital divide and retail is often not talked about. A staggering number entry-level jobs are supported by the retail industry. With ecommerce, technology and innovation, where will those jobs of the future be? What will they be doing? Will the work be satisfying and meaningful? Can employees earn decent wages to support their friends and families? How does the role of the today’s sales associate evolve into a digital guide to help the customer use technology and data to find things they need?

The way we overproduce and discount breeds a negative cycle.

Last and most importantly is the way we produce products. The current and historical model of guessing supply and demand, producing it in advance and then discounting the surplus is damaging on multiple levels. In creating a culture of discounting, people often force the lowest cost, which means labor that is often treated inhumanely, jobs leave the first world and people buy more than they need of things that are unnecessary. 

WHAT CAN A CONNECTED STORE OFFER TO CHANGE THIS MODEL?

Ecommerce has helped a lot. Without the overhead of stores and staff, people are buying things digitally more than ever and having them shipped to their house. But we still have 70-90% of sales happening in a large-format physical stores in most categories. Why is that? People now know how to use their smartphones and are used to shipping services having things there in an instant. But people still enjoy physical experiences with real people and real products. We can offer that in a much more helpful and enjoyable way.

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Enter the connected store of today


Enter the connected store of today

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Enter the connected store of today


Enter the connected store of today

The idea of our Connected Stores is that you interact with samples and speak with brand ambassadors, but the model is different.

Instead of 30,000 square foot stores, we power experiences in 1,000 – 5,000 square feet and sell more per square foot. That’s important because space not only costs money, but inefficient design makes our cityscapes prone to sprawl and less accessible and enjoyable. Many people love New York, Paris and Tokyo. Density with respectful and smart use of space make cities walkable, discoverable and creative. The suburbs and massive shopping centers played a role in the generation of the automobile, but now things are changing. The store no longer needs to serve as the distribution center. The store is a place of education and relationship building. The merchandise, although sampled and tried on, will be shipped to the shopper’s home in most cases. We not only power these award-winning commerce experiences now for retailers, we see others like Bonobos, Warby Parker and Tesla taking the lead in the areas of influence.


THE CHANGING ROLE OF PRODUCTION.

Some retailers are moving to advanced models of production on demand. One of our longest standing clients, Made.com, take orders in advance and only submit orders for production once a certain level of interest. That’s better for the retailer in terms of gauging supply and demand to sell at the most efficient price. It’s better for the customer because the cost relative to quality is higher due to less wastage. It’s better for laborers and the planet because we aren’t making things that people will not need or want.

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The changing role of work in retail


The changing role of work in retail

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The changing role of work in retail


The changing role of work in retail

We believe that retail can be personal by knowing a few people who can help you with all of your commerce decisions.

The role of the associate changes from product specialist to technology and decision-making guide. When all of us have access to similar information, the role of human interaction has to change. We believe that role is more about helping people know the expanse of what is available to them digitally in a friendly personal way. Although many purchases are made on Amazon, there are an infinite number of retailers who sell products online. Many people don’t have time or creativity to discover the depth and breadth of what’s out there online. Guides in connected stores are familiar with all emerging and innovative products and brands. They can introduce and digitally procure product on the customer’s behalf. The role of human interaction will still be vital although redundant services like checking out the customer and restocking shelves will cease to exist. 

How we consume matters. Our old models won’t work as the world’s population continues to grow and our resource become more scare. There is a path forward to reduce consumption, still remain creative and offer experiences that have meaning. We believe the Connected Store model is a meaningful part of this evolution. We hope to be able to continue to contribute to a greener, more friendly planet of consumers.