Eager to eliminate any shopping-related hassle it can, Neiman Marcus is installing mobile phone charging stations at the bulk of its stores, becoming the first luxury retailer to do so.
Neiman Marcus Group said on Tuesday that it will roll out 37 ChargeItSpot kiosks at 30 of its 42 stores, building on a test that began in 2014 at Neiman’s Bergdorf Goodman store in Manhattan and before expanding to a few namesake stores the following year. Neiman installed the first stations in the new batch last week and will continue the roll-out over the summer.
The charging stations are just one of many tech-related moves by Neiman aimed at improving in-store service at a time many customers are choosing to shop at online luxury stores. Neiman has reported two straight quarters of comparable sales declines, adding urgency to its efforts.
In addition to the charging stations and mainstays like WiFi and iPhones that sales staff use to show new items to customers, some stores have installed memory mirrors. Those contraptions can capture an image and video of everything a customer tries on so she can see outfits side by side and ask friends off site for their opinions.
“At Neiman Marcus, superior customer service starts with a great overall experience in the store. The ChargeItSpot kiosks allow our customers to charge their phones securely while they shop. It is very important to us that we work with technology to continue to improve our customers’ experience,” said Wanda Gierhart, chief marketing officer of Neiman Marcus Group in a statement.
The idea of the ChargeItSpot stations is to entice customers to stay in the store longer and shop more. They are built specifically for retail and offer stores like Neiman customization of the unit’s exterior graphics and design of the touchscreen interface. The Philadelphia-based company’s other clients include Under Armour (UA) and shopping center operator Westfield Malls.