STORE SPACES

Online dorm supplies retailer readies to open its first pop-up stores

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

School is still in session in most parts of the country, but that isn’t stopping Dormify from its latest move.

The online retailer that caters to college and dorm supplies is opening three locations this month in New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Each store will enable customers to explore merchandise and styling ideas before making a purchase.

Shoppers can make an appointment or walk into any location. Each store will feature Dormify stylists — current college students or recent graduates — who will offer advice on how to style dorm rooms or apartments. Stylists will also create looks for beds, desks and walls using Dormify merchandise.

Customers can order merchandise in-store, and have items shipped directly to their dorm, according to the company.

 

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Macy’s acquires New York experiential retailer

BY Marianne Wilson

There is a new story at Story, the 2,000-sq.-ft. retail outpost that reinvents itself with a new theme every couple of months.

Macy’s announced that it has acquired the concept store, which is located in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. Additionally, Rachel Shechtman, Story’s founder and CEO, will join the department store giant as brand experience officer. In her new role, Shechtman will focus on ways to enhance the in-store customer experience at Macy’s, and Story will have the opportunity to come to life in a new format.

Story will operate as usual, continuing to rotate new themes at its Chelsea location. The COO of Story, Jenny Shechtman, will assume the role of VP, operations at Story under Macy’s ownership.

“Rachel is a unique and innovative voice in retail, and we are thrilled to have the Story team join the Macy’s family said Jeff Gennette, CEO and chairman of Macy’s. “Bringing Rachel’s perspective to the table will help create more enriched and engaging in-store experiences and brand activations.”

Story takes the point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery, and sells things like a store. Every four to eight weeks, the space reinvents itself – from the design of the store to the merchandise – with the goal of highlighting a new theme and in partnership with a brand. Last fall, for example, Story partnered with global beauty giant Coty to transform the store into a beauty lover’s paradise. And in May 2016, Story collaborated with Walmart’s Jet.com division on a “Fresh” theme with a merchandise that featured cool kitchen gadgets and accessories, along with cookbooks, fresh produce and select menu-inspired grocery items.

“It’s exciting to have a national stage to leverage Story’s learnings and relationships to create impact at scale,” said Shechtman. “I’m energized by the opportunity to further build new customer experiences across the Macy’s portfolio, while also continuing to pursue new business models and brand partnerships.”

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Nebraska Furniture Mart partners with fast-growing tech repair brand

BY Marianne Wilson

Nebraska Furniture Mart has teamed up with uBreakiFix, which specializes in same-day repair of small electronics.

The home furnishing and appliance retailer has opened uBreakiFix in-store shops at Nebraska Furniture Mart locations in Omaha, Dallas-Fort Worth and Kansas City. The shops offer professional, same-day device repair for most technical problems on any electronic device, regardless of make or model, ranging from smartphones and game consoles to computers, tablets and even hoverboards.

“We strive to provide the greatest selection and service in the industry,” said Tony Arnold, director of marketing at Nebraska Furniture Mart. “We are delighted to add tremendous value to our customers’ shopping experience by providing access to the industry’s leading tech repair professionals within our stores.”

Founded in 2009, uBreakiFix has more than 385 locations across the U.S. and Canada and partnerships with leading technology companies, including Samsung and Google. The brand opened 21 new stores during the first quarter of 2018 and plans to increase growth each quarter throughout the year. To date, it has completed more than 4 million repairs.

“At uBreakiFix, we pride ourselves on delivering quality, convenience, and value in everything we do,” said Justin Wetherill, president and co-founder of uBreakiFix. “Our store-within-a-store partnership with NFM allows us to serve customers with timely, on-site repairs completed while they shop.”

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