ShopWithMe, an interactive retail solutions technology company, has opened a smart store designed to showcase brands in a state-of-the-art environment.
The store, located on Chicago's Michigan Avenue, is a specially designed mobile unit currently parked on an otherwise open plaza along the Chicago River. It is designed to be adaptable, mobile and easily changed to accommodate a revolving roster of retail brands.
|ShopWithMe's first smart retail store in Chicago|
The current shop houses collections from Toms Shoes and Raven + Lily, featured on smart fixtures. The environment learns about individual shoppers as they browse, and interactive shelving can move toward a customer to suggest an item on it. The fitting rooms are technology assisted and sport interactive mirrors, enabling shoppers to request different sizes or colors.
The 3,000 sq. ft. unit is being marketed to retailers as a high-tech, small format solution to showcase collections in an entirely new way.
|Inside ShopWithMe's first retail store|
ShopWithMe is bringing the mobile store to Chicago, New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and Miami. It plans to begin shipping the store after Jan. 1, 2016.
The plan is to create a network of smart stores which retailers can activate and deactivate within days. This will allow brands to go from zero to 50 stores overnight, and then down to zero again a few weeks later, according to the company.
"We're creating our very own 'store of the future.' Why should a new store have to be physically built for every brand? At ShopWithMe we change the files, not the fixtures, to create a new experience," said Danielle Jenkins, co-founder of WithMe. "Today the store can be Toms Shoes and next week it can be an entirely new brand without us having to rebuild the store."
ShopWithMe created an interactive pop-up shop for Zappos in downtown Las Vegas for the 2014 holiday season. That location, inside a former motel and casino, was open 24 hour hours and featured a live music venue, bar, dining area, virtual merchandise and endless aisle digital displays.
"We are going to be doing for retail what the Amazon cloud did for technology companies. So many great tech companies have been formed over the last 10 years because the cost of starting them has dropped significantly," said Jonathan Jenkins, founder and CEO of WithMe. "Think of ShopWithMe retail stores like you do Amazon servers. We set up the infrastructure and all the brands have to do is flip a switch to scale up or down very quickly without the large upfront investment."
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