design:retail - July 2017 - 43
sentiments: "Innovation is a mindset," she said.
"There is no limit to better."
And Evan Neufeld, vice president intelligence of
L2 agreed that experimentation is a requirement.
"Fail fast," he said. "Try things and if they don't
work, move on."
The pace of change in retail today also was a
common theme. "It's not the size of the change,
but the speed that makes today unique," said
Graciano Guichard, CEO of the 170-year-old El
Puerto de Liverpool. He emphasized keeping the
stores exciting with food and entertainment offerings, as well as live events nearly every day, such as
fashion shows, performances and even video game
tournaments. "I can't really change if my customer
is going to buy today, but I can change if they will
buy tomorrow," he said.
Richard Umbers, CEO and managing director
of 64-store chain Myer, emphasized storytelling as part of his company's platform to shift to
customer centricity, internally dubbing his brand
↑ Erik Nordstrom, Nordstrom
"the department of stories." "We are under pressure, but investing in change," he said. "Love and
trust is not enough. Traditional retail is struggling
Umbers touched on the concept of "experience" in retail today, referencing that putting a
juggler in the store does not incite anyone to buy
anything. He said you have to have entertainment
and theater, but have to tie it back to the product
with experiences that "move the human heart."
"Experience is nothing if it doesn't come with an
emotional connection," he said.
To that end, Erik Nordstrom, co-president of
Nordstrom, said his company is re-emphasizing
the growing importance of flagship stores as a
destination and full expression of the brand. The
company is launching its first two stores in Manhattan, with a Men's Store opening spring 2018 and
full-line flagship opening near Columbus Circle in
fall 2019. "We've been trying to get to New York for
decades," Nordstrom said. "It needs to be truly one
of the greatest stores in the world."
At the same time, the company is working to
serve its customers digitally through acquisitions
like Trunk Club and HauteLook. "We think our
customer is ahead of us," Nordstrom said, which
has led them to think differently about their stores.
The next IGDS event will be the Global Department Store Summit, April 26-27, 2018, in London.
-Alison Embrey Medina
Photos courtesy of IGDS