Rachel and The City: Rebecca Minkoff Transforms Shopping Experience

If you’re still recovering from Black Friday and Cyber Monday, get ready, because you’re about to enter into another whirlwind of shopping woahs. Last week, I came across a Lucky piece that details Rebecca Minkoff’s first stores in Manhattan and San Francisco. You’re probably thinking, okay, just another designer opening another traditional store. Think again, Collegiettes — this store is anything but traditional.

Minkoff has partnered with eBay to create an interactive touch-screen store experience. According to Lucky, the goal is “to make shopping in store more like shopping online.” Customers will now have the option to interact with screens full of images, videos, and products. You can even order a drink at the tap of a button. How crazy is that?! The interaction (or lack thereof) continues in the dressing rooms. Once your pieces reach the fitting room, the mirror doubles as a screen which allows shoppers to alert sales associates of any additional items they may need, adjust the lighting, and even pay without waiting in crowded lines. The fitting room sensors track the color and size of each piece of merchandise you try on, displaying them on the screen just a few seconds later. Yes, you’re reading this correctly.  

Source: luckymag.com

As if that wasn’t enough, the store also has product recommendations and alerts when new sizes are back in stock. Minkoff definitely seems to accomplish making shopping in store more like shopping online. According to the New York Times, online sales are increasingly taking over in-store traditions such as Black Friday shopping. Not surprisingly, the trend is slowly starting to spread throughout the calendar year. If people don’t come into stores and buy solely online, not only will employees lose jobs — the retail experience as we know it will completely disintegrate. Minkoff and eBay’s collaboration seems like the smart move, but can our shopping-obsessed society stray away from tradition — the tradition of customer-employee conversations, sifting through racks, and running over to the 50 percent-off sign as if our lives depended on it — to simply keep up with technology?! There’s no doubt it has its advantages, but I’m not so sure the Carrie Bradshaw’s out there will approve. 

On the other hand, this technology has some unequivocal advantages for the designer. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, “The connected fitting room tells the store not only what shoppers bought, but also what they left behind. That opens the door to a follow-up, such as an alert when something a shopper tried on runs low in stock. ‘It’s about capturing data you usually lose,’” says Healey Cypher, head of retail innovation at eBay Inc.

So while you’re thinking about the future of your shopping experience, if you happen to travel to LA over winter break, check out Sophia Amoruso’s recently opened Nasty Gal shop. In a twist to Minkoff’s venture, the online store has transformed into a brick-and-mortar powerhouse on Melrose. And no, it doesn’t have the interactive screens… yet. If you’re unfamiliar with Nasty Gal, pick up Amoruso’s book, #GirlBoss, to read the history behind it, which includes some kickass girl-power inspiration. Happy shopping, ladies!