The Container Store has unveiled a high-tech store prototype designed to help customers manage their storage and organizational projects.
The reimagined flagship store, in Dallas, offers a range of high-tech services; these include 18 digital screens on which consumers receive tips and inspirational ideas, and a digital-service tool called The Organization Studio, which enables them to upload a photo or video with a description of a challenging project and then invites them to set up an appointment with an in-store expert.
Custom closet studio
“We know that countless retailers are building digital tools and using them to innovate the shopping experience, but combining the human element with technology is when things really get powerful,” said Valerie Richardson, CRX, CLS, Container Store's vice president of real estate. (Richardson is also ICSC’s 2018–2019 chairman.) “The Organization Studio offers the convenience of an online experience and marries it with a personalized in-store engagement that offers a curated solution created by a real person.”
The components were developed after extensive consumer research, which revealed that customers’ biggest hurdle in beginning a project was the feeling of being overwhelmed, the company says. Container Store worked with FRCH Design Worldwide and with digital innovation agency MJD.
The architects have designed distinct areas in the store and improved the sight lines. Lowered ceilings and new flooring and lighting are intended to make the store seem more comfortable and inviting, according to the retailer. A custom closet studio enables customers to visualize storage possibilities at every price point. Seating allows shoppers to peruse merchandise and literature more easily. Merchandise is displayed in a way that enables customers to visualize how it might look in their homes.
The retailer is using the prototype store to to help determine which concepts it will use in existing and future stores.
“Our purpose as a brand is to help our customers accomplish their projects, maximize their space and make the most of their home,” said Melissa Collins, Container Store's chief marketing officer. “In order to help them achieve those goals, you’ll see a focus across all of our channels on making it easier to find the solutions they want and need. The next-gen store plays a key role in bringing our purpose to life and continuing to cultivate meaningful relationships with our customers.”
By Edmund Mander