Next-Gen Tech Could Be Key To Men’s Wearhouse Turnaround
Men’s Wearhouse recently introduced its two new stores that have a modernized layouts and an array of digital components.
The new features were welcomed as a positive change in the direction of experts from the RetailWireBrainTrust in an online discussion last week.
“Any guy knows that Men’s Wearhouse is the buy-one-get-two store,” wrote The Retail Doctor Bob Phibbs. “I love the departure and hope these improvements can move them to a more quality experience based on something other than price.”
The main non-tech element of the idea is the visible back stock area, dubbed “The Vault,” which drastically reduces the stock at the sale floor which includes a reduction of 85 percent in the on-floor suiting number.
The reduced stock on the floor helps to improve visibility lines, eliminates the amount of clutter, and allows for a more elevated visual merchandising for key items as well as head-to-toe designs on walls that are bordered by. The chain’s traditionally wide size selection is maintained.
“We’ve always kept a range of sizes in the store,” Carrie Ask, chief customer officer at Tailored Brands, the parent of Men’s Wearhouse, told WWD. “We have kept that legacy but also allowing for more stories. We’ve opened the entire sale floor.”
The store is divided into distinct zones for custom rental , and retail sections. Rental and casualwear two major areas that are that are slated for growth, get greater prominence.
- Artificial Intelligence-driven technology developed by 3DLOOK analyses two photographs by the client to determine the size of their clothes to allow for measurement without contact.
- The “Digital Shirt Wall” enables customers to tap a screen to choose their preferred color, style, and fit from the in-store inventory and online. Customers can add shirts into the “virtual fitting room” and associates provide them with a variety of options to test on.
- The custom section there’s the “co-create” table enables stylists to utilize technology in order to work with clients. Stylists can browse iPads to let customers see hundreds of fabrics and a variety of styles. The devices cast 3D renderings onto an enormous screen as part of the design process.
“I like a lot of what they’re trying; it’s more adventurous/relevant than many others who have opened ‘next gen’ stores recently,” wrote Lee Peterson, EVP of marketing and thought leadership for WD Partners. “Makes sense for me that they put an actual physical activities within a store and the other business operations being done online particularly the wall of shirts. (I like the idea. )”
“While this is new for Men’s Wearhouse, it is not new to the retail industry,” said Shep Hyken of Shepard Presentations. “Other retailers operating in cosmetics, eyeglasses,, jewelry space have come up with a great online shopping experience. Some think this is something to be a scam, but it’s proven an effective means of engaging customers and generating sales.”
Tailored Brands underwent bankruptcy proceedings this year. It is currently on the verge of closing around three-quarters of its stores due to the rise of work-from-home and the restrictions on weddings, business events and other formal occasions has affected sales.
RetailWire BrainTrust participant Cathy Hotka, director at Cathy Hotka & Associates, believed in the idea despite the challenges this headwind.
“Men’s Wearhouse has been a destination for suits — and very few people are buying suits these days,” wrote Ms. Hotka. “Tailored brands must lead by this idea and draw younger customers to join. This strategy could have been used several years ago. The millennials who shop via mobile devices (and can only view four items at once) are a bit shocked when they view 1,000 SKUs at a time.”
Some however were doubtful about the positive effects.
“While the improvements in store experience and inventory management sound promising, it reminds me of the J.C. Penney test store in Hurst, TX,” wrote Dick Seesel, director of Retailing Focus. Focus. “Is the store too tiny or too early? If the company has come out in bankruptcy but has a diminished size and more financial limitations It will be difficult to introduce the next-generation concept in time to make an impact on your brand.”