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Bloomingdale’s Goes High Tech


Bloomingdale’s new store in Palo Alto, California, is the retailer’s most digitally sophisticated to date.

Befitting its Silicon Valley locale, the three-level, 125,000-sq.-ft. space features a wide array of high-tech flourishes to make shopping easier — some of which the retailer will likely roll out to other locations. Among the offerings: state-of-the-art “smart” fitting rooms; a buy online, pick-up in-store feature; and the launch of same-day-delivery where shoppers located within a 15-mile radius from the store can buy select merchandise on and have the product delivered within a five-hour window. And all sales associates are outfitted with mobile checkout devices.

The new Bloomingdale’s combines classic roots with industrial elegance. With interior walls outfitted in French gray green and a third of the building flooded with natural light, the store has an open, inviting feel.

“We were able to design a space that embodies Palo Alto’s sleek and modern aesthetic utilizing advanced materials, local inspiration and high-tech elements, all in keeping with the iconic Bloomingdale’s appeal,” said Jack Hruska, executive VP creative services at Bloomingdale’s.

SMART: The state-of-the art fitting rooms are equipped with wall-mounted tablets that offer customers the ability to look up product information, alternate color and size options, ratings/reviews and recommendations on complementary items to “complete the look.”

In line with Bloomingdale’s goal to provide a more seamless shopping experience, customers can tap the touchscreen to call for assistance without having to leave the room. The mirrors are equipped with touchscreen lighting options that provide an optimal environment for trying on the latest fashions. All fitting-room areas contain communal tables with charging stations where guests can mingle and reboot.

As the first fully mobile Bloomingdale’s store, all selling associates have mobile devices allowing them to better assist shoppers with instant access to product availability information, along with the ability to call, email and text with customers. Using the devices, associates can complete transactions via mobile point-of-sale to streamline the purchase process.

In men’s and women’s shoes, handbags, and home departments, touchscreen tablets are handy to allow customers to explore additional inventory. Utilizing the tablets, customers can browse items by their favorite designer or style, scan items for more information, view product details and product guides.

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