NEW YORK, United States — After weeks of lockdown, stores across the US are starting to reopen. But retail is different. As part of #BoFLIVE, presented by Afterpay, Lauren Sherman spoke with BoF’s Brian Baskin, Saks Fifth Avenue President Marc Metrick and Jessica Richards, founder of Shen Beauty, to get a sense of the new store experience.
“It’s almost impossible to make a blanket statement about what store reopening might look like,” said Baskin, adding that the retailers he has reported on in recent weeks have taken vastly different approaches. At Saks Fifth Avenue, Metrick described elaborate new health protocols, including face masks, daily health assessments, temperature checks and physical distancing rules, to ensure employees and shoppers are safe.
These new safety measures are forcing a more personalised shopping experience. “Before [the pandemic] people might not sign up for a personal shopping appointment because [it would make them] feel obligated, now they sign up because it feels safer,” Metrick said.
This is particularly the case for service-driven beauty retailers. Richards described virtual one-on-one skin consultations as a stop-gap measure she has implemented at Shen Beauty. And when the store opens, Richards said she will ensure that the intimacy of Shen Beauty's grooming and makeup stations is maintained alongside improved sanitation. “[Shen Beauty] is not just a place to sell a product, it’s a place for people to come and enjoy themselves,” she said.
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