The e-retailer tests the concept of a physical store with limited inventory that exposes shoppers to the full online selection.
Zappos, the online shoe and apparel retailer known for its speedy delivery and free 365-day return policy, announced today it’s opening a pop-up shop at the Western Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, near its headquarters. The shop will be open through Dec. 31.
And just like Zappos.com, the store will be open 24 hour a day. Consumers can view products in the store, and scan them at kiosks or which their smartphones to see additional colors and sizes from the online selection. A technology called ShopWithMe will allow a consumer to put merchandise into both a physical shopping cart in the store and a digital cart on Zappos.com and check out once.
“Zappos is excited to partner with OrderWithMe on their new technology, ShopWithMe,” says Steve Hill, Zappos’ vice president of merchandising. “This sort of retail experience is going to give the community of Las Vegas a first look at something new and innovative that was previously unheard of. This will be a first-of-its-kind experience that brings the world of Zappos.com to life and gives holiday shoppers the chance to interact with Zappos in a physical space.”
Zappos and ShopWithMe say one of the goals of this pop-up shop is to create a shopping model that can quickly and affordably be replicated. The idea, they say, is to allow consumers to have the browsing experience of traditional bricks-and-mortar retail with the selection afforded by e-retail. “This is a proof-of-concept test and will allow us to see how Zappos comes to life in person,” Hill says. “Our community has been very supportive of Zappos and we wanted to bring this first-time experience to our hometown here in downtown Las Vegas.”
The shop itself is 20,000 square feet and divided into 16 sections. Zappos is owned by Amazon.com Inc., No 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.
Analysts at A.T. Kearney, a global management consulting firm, praised Zappos’ initiative. “Based on our research and discussion with retailers, online-only players increase their web sales in the areas where they open stores,” says Andres Mendoza-Pena, principal in the retail practice of A.T. Kearney. Mendoza-Pena says the increase ranges from 200% to 500%.
Michael Moriarty, a partner in A.T. Kearney’s retail practice elaborated: “Zappos gets the best of both worlds: a great online experience with fun and efficient discovery and delivery as well as a physical store for discovery and test and trial—and in Las Vegas? What’s not to like?”
By Abby Callard Associate Editor
November 21, 2014, 4:44 PM