Footwear and apparel maker Decker Brands announces the opening of an Ugg Australia, technology-driven concept store. The Washington, D.C.-area store will serve as Deckers' second Innovation Lab, with the first located in Santa Barbara, California.
The Innovation Labs serve as test sites for the latest omnichannel models, merchandising approaches and innovations that can eventually be rolled out in retail locations.
"Omnichannel isn't just a catchphrase for Deckers; it's an integral part of our culture of innovation and our retail strategy–one that we've made investments in for more than five years now–to engage with our consumers with respect to their preferred shopping channel," said Dave Powers, president of omnichannel for Deckers Brands. "That strategy is on full display at the Ugg store, where we are merging the best of digital and physical shopping experiences, and setting the foundation for future omni-capabilities across our brands."
The 2,110-sq.-ft. store, in the Tysons Galleria in McLean, Virginia, gives consumers the ability to shop the 230 SKUs on display as well as Ugg products not found in the store.
The location also features two customization programs. First, Ugg By You lets the consumer design one of five classic styles: Classic Mini, Classic Short, Bailey Bow, Bailey Button and Fluff Flip-Flop. Second, the Bling It On program enables customers to cover their Uggs with Swarovski crystal patterns.
Other digital technology includes a radio-frequency identification that allows consumers trying on merchandise to view digitally triggered content on four HD touch screens throughout the store including product information and options, style tips, videos, related marketing campaigns and suggested complementary products. Shoppers can send themselves texts with product links right from the screens.
Sales associates will be equipped with iPads for questions, support and purchases. The entire store is WiFi outfitted.
Concept stores are a growing trend among retailers looking to create innovative shopping experiences and attract new customers. Ann Inc. (NYSE:ANN) is opening four freestanding Lou & Grey concept stores to further expand its successful Lou & Grey loungewear line. The company will also install Lou & Grey boutiques inside current Loft locations. RadioShack (NYSE:RSH) recently opened two more concept stores, with one in Manhattan as the chain continues to pepper the urban island with shiny new prototypes. And Walmart (NYSE:WMT) opened its first Walmart to Go convenience store on March 15 in Bentonville, Arkansas.
-See this Decker Brands press release
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