Consultancy McKinsey opens experimental retail technology store

Global consultancy group McKinsey & Co will be welcoming visitors to its very own retail store over the coming year.

From today (27 September), the 3,000 sq ft Modern Retail Collective store will be housed in Minnesota’s Mall of America and sell a range of items from fashion and beauty brands, supported by new technology concepts.

Four companies take residence straight away – Elevé Cosmetics, Kendra Scott, ThirdLove, and type:A Deodorant – and they will take home any revenues generated through the new space.

Technology companies Chatter Research, Compass Marketing, ComQi, FaceCake, Farfetch, Flexa, Microsoft, MSM Solutions, Smartrac, Square, RetailNext, and Zebra Technologies will help enable new consumer-facing touchpoints and operational techniques.

The idea is to rotate technology deployments from the aforementioned companies, experimenting with new ideas to understand what resonates with consumers visiting the site in the US’s largest retail complex. Tiffany Burns, a partner at McKinsey, told CBS News: "Insights from understanding this complicated technical landscape and what customer experiences work are immensely valuable to us and our clients.

"If you magnify that globally for all retailers across grocery, drug, apparel and convenience, being able to apply this in a fact-based, proven way will drive billions of dollars of impact over time and change the way that retailers operate."

The Mall of America is not charging McKinsey rent for the space, but McKinsey has invested in a full-time team to run the store in what represents a significant investment in retail by the consultancy group.

The project will allow McKinsey and its clients to analyse new retail technology ideas in a real-life consumer setting. Many retailers try out new innovations in lab-style environments, but this initiative aims to gather insights about what does and does not work in an authentic space.

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