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The fashion executive’s guide to the future of stores

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In the age of e-commerce, physical stores still have a role to play – indeed, their roles have multiplied and expanded like never before. They are now micro-distribution centers, delivering inventory faster than warehouses. They are ad hoc film studios, where the associates broadcast individual advice. And they’re making it easier to sell the old fashioned way while taking advantage of new age benefits like smart clothing labels, augmented reality fitting, and self-checkout.

Despite some grim prognosis, the pandemic was not the beginning of the end for physical stores. This year, US consumer spending during Cyber ​​Week edged down from last year, as mobile purchases “hit a wall,” Adobe reported. Even 60% of digital orders are influenced by physical stores this holiday season, Salesforce estimates. This type of measure, which views the role of the store as a medium for e-commerce, is a “reverse of conventional thinking, research and data presented in the industry over the past decade,” says Rob Garf. , vice president of industry strategy. and information about Salesforce, which provides customer relationship management software used by many luxury names, including Richemont, Kering, LVMH and Tapestry. “It forces retailers to reinvent the role of the store and the associate. “