Shopping Centers Today

DEC 2018

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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30 S C T / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8 T H E C O M M O N A R E A T E C H N O LO GY M acy's Inc. is adding virtual- reality installations to the fur- niture departments of some 70 Macy's stores nationwide. The retailer is working with technolo- gy provider Marxent to prepare an addi- tional 20 of these for January 2019. • "Macy's is constantly looking for ways to bring excitement and fresh experiences to our customers," said Macy's President•Hal Lawton, in a press release. "Through the Macy's VR furniture experience, we are giving our customers a new way to visualize a large selection of furni- ture products. Customers design their living space and, using a VR headset, immerse themselves in the virtual rooms they create. VR Virtual square feet is a practical application proven to drive sales and [is] a terrific example of combining technology and the human touch." In three pilot stores, VR-influ- enced furniture sales have increased by about 60 percent relative to non- VR furniture sales, while•returns have eased to less than 2 percent, the company says. Customers are more accurately visualizing their spaces and adding multiple furnishings with confidence, according to Lawton. The program also allows Macy's to offer a full range of furniture in a dramatically smaller space, he says. "With Macy's VR furniture experi- ence, customers can take a 2-D floor plan and transition it to 3-D in real time," said Beck Besecker, co-found- er and CEO of Marxent. "Macy's VR for furniture is an easy-to-use application, and consumers have a huge selection to choose from. The technology decreases return rates, and VR gives customers a real omni-channel experience." Macy's is also introducing an aug- mented-reality furniture experience it calls See Your Space IRL.•This technology enables customers to virtually place Macy's furniture prod- ucts in their actual living spaces. See Your Space IRL•is•available on the Macy's mobile app for iOS on•iPhone 7 phones•and newer, and it will be available on the Macy's app for Android in 2019. Q Macy's adds VR tech to its furniture stores By Brannon Boswell

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