The Container Store, the country’s leading retailer of storage and organization products, is getting a makeover—complete with tech upgrades, organization studios, digital design screens, and design specialists.
The new tech-savvy “Next Generation Store” concept emerged from extensive consumer research conducted in partnership with strategic design and architectural firm, FRCH Design Worldwide and digital innovation agency, MJD.
Consumer research revealed that customers’ biggest hurdle in beginning a project was feeling overwhelmed. Thus, the new store features 18 digital screens to provide customers with everything from inspiration and tips to an interactive design tool.
“One of the things we want to do is make our stores more approachable,” Container Store CMO Melissa Collins told CNBC. “We find customers feel overwhelmed and intimidated. They’re not very organized—so they’re thinking, ‘How do I get started?'”
To ease that overwhelming feeling, the Next Gen Store provides customers with a new proprietary digital experience called “The Organization Studio,” which allows customers to upload a photo or video of their personal space, describe the organizational challenge, and set up an in-store appointment to meet one-on-one with a design specialist—all free of charge with no purchase commitment.
According to Collins, the company “took a lot of cues from its online business” to determine where to invest more in bricks and mortar. With many customers coming to the website for projects and inspirational tips, the revamped store has much more of that, she said.
The Next Gen Store also boasts a hip lounge area, a custom closet studio, and an expanded kitchen section.
The store upgrade comes on the heels of an evolving retail landscape where Amazon threatens to displace physical furniture, clothing, and grocery stores. Target, Walmart, and Abercrombie & Fitch are among the brands remodeling to compete with the digital retail beast.
The Coppell, Texas retailer will open its first “Next Generation Store” this week at its Dallas flagship store before rolling out the design to its more than 90 locations around the U.S.