US department store chain Sears has opened a condensed retail format in Fort Collins, Colorado that focuses on home appliances – one of its bestselling categories. The 10,000 sq ft space is around a quarter of the size of its standard Appliance & Hardware stores.
Key to the revamp is the deployment of a raft of omni-channel initiatives to help contextualise the products.
Insight: The Kitchen Creator Area allows visitors to construct a digital mock-up of their future kitchen. They can choose the layout, colours, materials and appliances from Sears' online catalogue using an on-site tablet. Their selections are then projected onto the wall of a life-sized kitchen.
Experts: Access to the area is afforded by a 'Meet with an Expert' feature on Sears' e-commerce site. Consumers can also schedule an appointment at the nearest store if they need further assistance.
Speed: The shop also offers a five-minute click-and-collect option for orders placed online. For more on fast and innovative delivery services, see New-Gen Fulfilment in our Roaming Retail Industry Trend.
Digital/physical retail strategies are highly relevant to this market. Findings show 50% of global household-appliance shoppers prefer to do their research online, while 35% prefer in-store. However, when it comes to making the final purchase, 59% do so in-store, and just 29% online (PWC, 2016).
For more, see Smart Stores: The Connected Flagship and 'Connected Home' Retail Concepts. See also Tactics for Retailing Tech and Interiors Retailing Online. For more on truncated store concepts, see Downsized Retail Destinations, publishing on June 9, and New-Gen Home Improvement Part 2.