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Zappos opens first freestanding store

BY Marianne Wilson

New YorkOnline powerhouse Zappos has opened its first-ever freestanding store, a 20,000-sq.ft. pop-up in the company’s hometown of downtown Las Vegas. Powered by state-of-the-art technology, the shop blends online and offline retail. In keeping with the brand’s heritage, it will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from November 21 until December 31.

Zappos is partnering with retail logistics startup OrderWithMe on the venture, which is being officially billed as the “Zappos.com Pop-Up Shop Showroom Store.” The space is set up into different sections, each catering to a different style of apparel (there is also a shoe room). It combines the physical experience with the digital: Shoppers can scan an item at a kiosk or on their mobile device, which allows them to see all of the available colors and sizes of the particular item.

“As you move through the store, you’re adding to a shopping cart existing in the physical and virtual world simultaneously. Choose exactly what it is that you want… if we don’t have it in the store that day we’ll ship it to you with the same Fast & Free shipping you’ve come to expect from Zappos,” the company stated.

In addition to apparel, accessories and footwear, the store offers food, drinks, and entertainment. It’s designed as a family-friendly experience, complete with a towering Christmas tree and fake snow in the parking lot.

Zappos, of course, is not the first pure player to enter the brick-and-mortar space. Warby Parker, Bauble Bar Birchbox and Rent the Runway are just a few of the retailers that have gone from clicks to bricks, supplementing their online presence with physical stores. And Zappos’ parent, online giant Amazon, is also set to take the plunge with several holiday pop-ups.

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