McKinsey & Company opens first retail store in collaboration with Mall of America

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McKinsey & Company, in collaboration with Mall of America, has announced the launch of its first-ever retail concept — Modern Retail Collective, a live retail space in Mall of America. The space offers retailers the opportunity to work with McKinsey and Mall of America to test dozens of new technologies and discover what’s possible when multiple technologies, analytics and store operations work together to elevate in-store experiences. At the same time, shoppers can interact with retailers in new ways in-store and across a variety of channels.

Modern Retail Collective will be refreshed regularly to bring new technology, brands and experiences together to offer seamless and immersive end-to-end customer journeys in the largest retail and entertainment center in North America. The store will open to the public on Friday, Sept. 27, and will feature four fashion and beauty brands: Elevé Cosmetics, Kendra Scott, ThirdLove and type:A Deodorant. Technology and advisory participants include Chatter Research, Compass Marketing, ComQi, FaceCake, Farfetch, Flexa, Microsoft, MSM Solutions, Smartrac, Square, RetailNext and Zebra Technologies.

Through 2019, shoppers can experience the following, among others:

  • Interactive mobile hotspots throughout the store providing single-tap access to product details and allowing customers to create a virtual basket as they go
  • Smart mirrors and fit predictor software allowing virtual trial of products outside the fitting room
  • Faster future payment options, including mobile and cryptocurrency capabilities

“Retailers are experiencing many pressures as they navigate the evolving retail landscape. As a result, stores are closing left and right, with more than 8,000 US store closures announced so far this year,” said Tiffany Burns, partner in McKinsey’s Atlanta office and Retail Stores Practice Lead, North America. “Modern Retail Collective will provide insights to retailers exploring opportunities to re-imagine the store through new in-store experiences and technologies that will enhance customer experience and overall store performance.”

Retailers are inundated with the magnitude of new technology available and are often unsure how and where to invest. At the same time, pressure is mounting to deliver omnichannel experiences that seamlessly transition customers between traditional and digital shopping journeys. McKinsey research shows that 60 percent of consumer apparel journeys include a digital touchpoint for research, transaction or both. In addition, McKinsey research shows omnichannel shoppers spend more, purchase twice as often and engage over longer periods of time compared to single-channel shoppers.

“Modern Retail Collective will unlock the power of multiple technologies working together to cultivate pioneering insights retailers need to transform their customer experience,” said Praveen Adhi, Partner in McKinsey’s Chicago office and Retail Operations Lead, Americas. “Through this project, we’ll produce cutting-edge data and analytics to help retailers define their own vision for their store of the future.”

“Mall of America recognizes the importance of evolving the consumer experience and has been leading efforts to help current and new tenants alike succeed in the everchanging retail landscape,” said Jill Renslow, SVP of Business Development for Mall of America. “Modern Retail Collective will offer brands a flexible environment to test new technology and discover what resonates with their customers. We are honored to collaborate with McKinsey, such a well-respected innovator in the retail industry, on this endeavor.”

Jennifer Spaulding Schmidt, senior partner in McKinsey’s Minneapolis office and Midwest Consumer Lead, a Minneapolis native, is especially confident in the promising partnership between McKinsey and Mall of America. “Mall of America is and has always been a leader in evolving the in-store shopping experience, and they are well known in the industry as a place to pilot new concepts, which makes them the perfect partner for Modern Retail Collective,” says Schmidt.

As a leader in management consulting, McKinsey is in a position to convene the right partners and bring unparalleled expertise to solve for the store of the future. In early 2020, McKinsey will welcome an array of new retail and technology players for the next instalment of Modern Retail Collective, which will focus on tech-enabled service and personalisation.