VMSD - October 2017 - 27

districts - tucked among coffee shops, scented candle
stores and craft breweries. These are the hangout
zones of urban life, places where people go to see and
be seen. These are social territories, or in other words,
spaces where identity-formation and aspirational
thinking dominates. Consumption happens, but it's
secondary. This is the essence of a showroom strategy:
creating a space where desire and want rise above
mere need and necessity.
This is an exceedingly simple, yet enigmatic, idea.
Bonobos was born online. But it isn't an e-commerce
company first. It makes great pants and whimsical
peacock shirts. But it doesn't do any of this via a legacy
model of retail.
Bonobos can't compete with Walmart's scale, but
it has long beaten the chain in one key metric: sales
per square foot, which is likely three times more than
Walmart's. With total square footage of about 71,000,
and an estimated $100 million in annual sales, Bonobos may log $1408 sales per square foot, and some estimates go as high as $2000. That's significantly higher
than the typical menswear store in American malls,

which range between $350 and $650 per square foot.
Walmart effectively bought a philosophy: The best
way to build a brand is to create a superior physical
product. But don't try to sell that product in a traditional store first. Instead, start by selling your product
with a digital-first experience. The influence of the
showroom model will undoubtedly spur more innovation at Walmart. Showroom thinking is not just about
apparel. For example, after the Bonobos deal, Walmart
started Store No. 8, an internal venture focused exclusively on hatching new online retail businesses.
Showroom stores aren't just the merchandising
strategy of the future, but the store of the future. This
raises a critical question for any retailer still sitting on
the showroom sidelines: If even Walmart is getting on
board in a big way, what's stopping your brand? 

Bonobos' Detroit Guideshop
offers shoppers a one-on-one
meeting with a fit and style
expert. Items are shipped to
the consumer within two to
five days to reduce the friction
of queues, checkout lanes and
carrying shopping bags.

Lee Peterson is executive vice president
of brand, strategy and design at Dublin,
Ohio-based WD Partners, a global
customer experience firm.

vmsd.com

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october 2017

27


http://www.vmsd.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - October 2017

Vmsd - October 2017
Contents
From the Editor
Vmsd Editorial Advisory Board
The Goods
Next Store
Dinner Is Served
Shopper Insig Hts: Show and Tell
Retail by You
From Clicks to Bricks
Showroom
Showroom
Ad Index
Checking Out
VMSD - October 2017 - Intro
VMSD - October 2017 - BB1
VMSD - October 2017 - BB2
VMSD - October 2017 - Vmsd - October 2017
VMSD - October 2017 - Cover2
VMSD - October 2017 - 1
VMSD - October 2017 - Contents
VMSD - October 2017 - 3
VMSD - October 2017 - From the Editor
VMSD - October 2017 - 5
VMSD - October 2017 - Vmsd Editorial Advisory Board
VMSD - October 2017 - 7
VMSD - October 2017 - The Goods
VMSD - October 2017 - 9
VMSD - October 2017 - 10
VMSD - October 2017 - 11
VMSD - October 2017 - 12
VMSD - October 2017 - 13
VMSD - October 2017 - Next Store
VMSD - October 2017 - 15
VMSD - October 2017 - Dinner Is Served
VMSD - October 2017 - 17
VMSD - October 2017 - 18
VMSD - October 2017 - 19
VMSD - October 2017 - 20
VMSD - October 2017 - 21
VMSD - October 2017 - 22
VMSD - October 2017 - 23
VMSD - October 2017 - Shopper Insig Hts: Show and Tell
VMSD - October 2017 - 25
VMSD - October 2017 - 26
VMSD - October 2017 - 27
VMSD - October 2017 - 28
VMSD - October 2017 - 29
VMSD - October 2017 - Retail by You
VMSD - October 2017 - 31
VMSD - October 2017 - 32
VMSD - October 2017 - 33
VMSD - October 2017 - From Clicks to Bricks
VMSD - October 2017 - 35
VMSD - October 2017 - 36
VMSD - October 2017 - 37
VMSD - October 2017 - 38
VMSD - October 2017 - 39
VMSD - October 2017 - Showroom
VMSD - October 2017 - 41
VMSD - October 2017 - 42
VMSD - October 2017 - 43
VMSD - October 2017 - 44
VMSD - October 2017 - Showroom
VMSD - October 2017 - 46
VMSD - October 2017 - 47
VMSD - October 2017 - 48
VMSD - October 2017 - 49
VMSD - October 2017 - 50
VMSD - October 2017 - 51
VMSD - October 2017 - 52
VMSD - October 2017 - 53
VMSD - October 2017 - Ad Index
VMSD - October 2017 - 55
VMSD - October 2017 - Checking Out
VMSD - October 2017 - Cover3
VMSD - October 2017 - Cover4
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