NEW YORK: Levi’s, the apparel brand, has developed a brick-and-mortar retail experience that is based on deep consumer insights and reflects the evolving preferences of shoppers.
Carrie Ask, EVP/president of global retail at Levi Strauss & Co., discussed this subject in a keynote session at the 2018 CommerceNext conference.
“I’m here to tell you physical retail is not dead,” she asserted.
“Boring retail is dead and consumers are expecting more from stores, and how they evolve with them, and how they adapt to them.”
Levi’s, which runs roughly 750 owned stores in 31 nations, turned this idea into practice via research in six countries, and that included – among other things – shopper surveys, as well as studying customer journeys and the fitting-room experience.
“We took the planners with us, the merchandisers, our supply-chain partners, [and] IT. We worked across global, regional, and store teams. And we were in stores, 24/7, shoulder-to-shoulder as our teams delivered the consumer experience,” Ask said.
One of the “moments of truth” that emerged was that people walking into a Levi’s store had a very high purchase intent. In order to ensure they could find the right product, the brand has simplified its in-store nomenclature.
The other steps it has taken include providing far more spacious fitting rooms, as a good experience during this element of the purchase journey was a significant driver of the likelihood to purchase.
“You had somewhere comfortable to sit. You had somewhere to set all of your things. We improved the lighting,” Ask said in describing some of the changes.
Its research further demonstrated that many consumers want to truly stand out. “Forty percent of them indicated they were interested in personalised clothing. And this jumped to 50% for the 16-to-24 and 25-to-39 age groups,” she reported.
In response, Levi’s has handed a greater amount of floor space over to the “tailor shops” within its four walls that let customers give their purchases a truly distinctive twist.
And, behind the scenes, it has used new technology to better track overall inventory. “We can now scan 10,000 units in ten minutes, close the scan, and immediately print a pull-and-place list that gets us back in stock at the size level,” said Ask.