New York City may be a retail mecca, but it has never had a Neiman-Marcus store. That changes tomorrow as the Dallas-based luxury department store opens a whiz-bang three-level branch in Hudson Yards, the massive, high-end development west of Times Square and across the street from the Javits Center.
The 188,000-square-foot, at The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards, is packed with retail technology aimed at elevating shopper experiences. The anchor tech is mobile POS – so as in an Apple store, the checkout process comes to you.
There are interactive dressing rooms in the store that let shoppers communicate with staff via touchscreens, doing the “Hey, can you bring me a smaller one of this, and in blue!” thing. Which is much easier than undressing, trying on, dressing, going back and finding the same thing in a different size, and repeating the process. That is running off tech from AlertTech.
“We’re thrilled to be introducing Neiman Marcus Hudson Yards as a continuation of our strategy to transform the Neiman Marcus brand into a digital luxury platform,” says Geoffroy van Raemdonck, CEO of Neiman Marcus Group, in what I think is a PR statement (found online at RIS). “This store recognizes our brand’s history and heritage while adapting to how the next generation of luxury customers shop. Neiman Marcus Hudson Yards will be all about providing physical and digital experiences in a way not seen at other stores, creating a personal customer experience that is seamless and magical.”
There are 60 screens from a company called Videri (??? – new to me) located around the store, doing promo messaging. There are 11 digital directories at entrances and customer service areas. Not sure if those are part of the 60, or in addition to.
There are also memory makeover mirrors that can record beauty makeover and demo sessions and then send to shoppers, as well as digital mirrors that do much the same for people trying on different sets of shades (Google was demo’ing this sort of thing last week at Shoptalk). The sunglass thing is a partnership between MemoMi, the Neiman Marcus Innovation Lab, and Luxottica.
The store is also fitted out with smartphone charging lockers.
Will have to check this all out when next in New York, if they let me in. Much of my “wardrobe” is from Costco, so I don’t quite fit the Neiman-Marcus profile. The good thing about that is I’m rarely bugged by store associates when i walk into a lux retailer.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.