Shopping for Clothes in A Shop Without Clothes

“When shoppers walk into the new Nordstrom store in West Hollywood, Calif., next month, they’ll find tailors altering suits and stylists doling out advice. They’ll be able to sip some wine or cold-pressed juice, and maybe even get a manicure as they choose a new wardrobe. What they won’t be able to do is take any clothes home.”

Changing dynamics in retail has led to retailers employing new tactics in enticing buyers. Nordstrom provides a space where you can try on items you are buying online. Walmart also says a “store with no inventory becomes very, very efficient.” It bought Bonobos in June 2017 that allows shoppers to buy and take home small goods including gift and home decor items, as well as a few dresses. The rest of the store is filled with showroom pieces and samples to try on and order and delivered later. A more extreme version of the minimalist retail concept is Indochino, a menswear retailer that’s part of a tech-driven trend for made-to-order clothing. With more than 15 showrooms in North America, it mainly serves as a fit center for men who can afford bespoke suits. An associate takes measurements, and details are chosen on the spot, from lining patterns to button types. Indochino transmits the details to a suit-maker in China, and a few weeks later, the customer returns to try it on—any last-minute alterations are made on the spot. Think of Stuttafords when reading the following: “Department stores are hulking beasts with a lot of overhead—they require a lot of nearby shoppers to make economic sense. While it isn’t worth plopping one down in a small town, a little outpost for trying on clothes and getting them shipped just might be, opening up new markets that retailers otherwise would have to pass by” For department stores, that’s increasingly becoming a way of life.

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