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Amazon’s First Physical Apparel Store, C&W Launches Digitally Native Retailer Group and More

January 20, 2022

Amazon: The retail behemoth is opening a physical store with high-tech fitting rooms. Amazon Style will open this year in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale, California, at The Americana at Brand. In the past few years, Amazon has experimented with physical retail in the form of grocery stores and books, but it has never sold clothing or shoes in its physical marketplaces.

A customer on the Amazon Style floor can scan an item’s QR code to see sizes, colors, customer ratings and additional product details. With the tap of a button, the shopper can add the item to a fitting room or, if they don’t need to try it on, send it directly to the pickup counter.

Personalization is key to the store experience. The retailer’s machine learning algorithms produce tailored, real-time recommendations for each customer as they shop. As customers browse the store and scan items that catch their eye, Amazon’s algorithm will recommend additional items. To refine those recommendations, customers can enter information like their style, fit and other preferences to receive more refined recommendations.

Customers also can shop from their fitting rooms. Using touchscreens, they can rate items to get new picks in real time and request more styles and sizes to be delivered to their fitting room closets in just minutes, made possible by technology and processes Amazon Style stores borrow from Amazon fulfillment centers.

Cushman & Wakefield: The real estate services firm dedicated a team of 30 to focus on digitally native retailers expanding into the physical marketplace. Led by Cushman & Wakefield executive managing director and Americas retail leader Barrie Scardina, the team will use data and analytics to help identify ideal markets, select the best locations and build the physical experience.

Draper James: The clothing and lifestyle brand, founded by actress Reese Witherspoon, recently opened its first two mall stores: one in Houston’s Galleria and another in Mall of America. The retailer’s three existing stores, including its Nashville flagship, are streetfront locations. Draper James also will start selling its merchandise in 500 Kohl’s stores in February.

Floor & Decor: The retailer will open its first Baltimore-area store midyear, at Continental Realty Corp.’s North Plaza in Parkville, Maryland. The retailer operates nearly 160 stores in 31 states, including one other in Maryland, in Gaithersburg. The new store will take over an 85,794-square-foot former Kmart. KLNB represented the tenant.

Walmart: Walmart is building a presence in the metaverse, the online web where digital goods traded for digital currencies. The retailer has filed for patents that experts say show plans to create a proprietary cryptocurrency and virtual goods in the electronics, home decor, toys, sporting goods and personal care categories. Gap, Ralph Lauren and Selfridges have announced plans similarly to capitalize on the popularity of the metaverse with Gen Z customers.

By Brannon Boswell

Executive Editor, Commerce + Communities Today

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