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In Latest Attempt To Salvage Brick-And-Mortars, Lane Bryant To Offer Free In-Store Styling

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In Latest Attempt To Salvage Brick-And-Mortars, Lane Bryant To Offer Free In-Store Styling
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As brick-and-mortar retail bows more deeply to e-commerce, some see empathy as its lone redeeming quality. Traditional chains will only survive on the human connections and relationships they facilitate.

“The degree to which retailers are successful in leveraging creativity, community and experiences in their stores is the degree to which they will be successful in defending their businesses against online commerce and automated retail,” Loup Ventures Managing Partner Andrew Murphy wrote in May.

It seems Lane Bryant, a subsidiary of Ascena Retail Group Inc (NASDAQ: ASNA) marketing plus-size women’s clothing, sees the merits of this approach.

The firm announced Tuesday its launch of LaneStyle Studio for in-store personal styling. The complementary, one-on-one service is scheduled by appointment.

Although the practice is common in commission-based stores where employees are incentivized to sell, it’s less so among retailers offering lower base wages.

The move may come as relief to retail employees, who some consider expendable in an age of automated service. With the likes of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE: WMT) exploring robot-driven shopping centers, and augmented reality enabling e-commerce customers to virtually test clothes, human employees are exposed to layoffs.

The utility of conversational human stylists may preserve not only retailers but also those reliant on the industry for work.

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Five Below’s CEO: Brick And Mortar Is ‘Cake,’ Online Is Just The ‘Icing’

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Image Credit: By Michael Rivera - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Posted-In: Brick and Mortar brick-and-mortar retail Lane BryantTop Stories Trading Ideas General Best of Benzinga

 

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