McKinsey is opening a retail store to test new technologies

In a first for the high-minded management consultancy, McKinsey is opening a retail store and flogging underwear, make-up and jewellery to customers in a Midwest shopping mall. Due to open today in Mall of America, the largest US shopping centre, the outlet is designed to test the effectiveness of new technology that retailers and their advisers could deploy to keep stores relevant in the age of Amazon. Visitors to the mall in suburban Minneapolis will be able to try out gadgets including smart mirrors and software that aims to help them pick the right bra size. Cryptocurrency will be among the payment options… A rotating roster of retailers will share space in the store… Four fashion and beauty brands will take part initially. The line-up comprises jeweller Kendra Scott; type:A Deodorant; Elevé Cosmetics; and ThirdLove, a “body-positive” clicks-to-bricks lingerie company that has been taking market share from Victoria’s Secret… McKinsey does not expect to make money from the venture, which has been branded Modern Retail Collective. Instead, it hopes data gleaned from the project will help improve its understanding of what works in retail and what does not, and so improve the quality of recommendations to clients. 

Alistair Gray