Hointer Inc. (Seattle) is making plans to open a new location in Palo Alto, Calif. May 1, according to the Wall Street Journal. It will be located in the Stanford Shopping Center in a former Burberry store, near Stanford University. Backing the concept with $10 million of her own funds, former Amazon supply chain vp and current ceo of Hointer, Nadia Shouraboura, plans to expand the concept to San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas later this year.
Just like the current Hointer store, there will be virtually no salespeople and most functions will be run by behind-the-scenes machines and software. The process is slightly mysterious, but fairly simple: When a customer walks into the store, they are greeted by a variety of jeans in an array of cuts and colors, hanging from metal display bars (only one pair of each available style and cut is shown on the floor). Once a customer finds a pair they want to try on, scanning the tag with their smartphone directs them to a fitting room while the jeans are whisked behind the scenes through a chute into the designated room. Purchases are then made via a smartphone app or by tablet computers in the dressing rooms, WSJ reports.
Shouraboura plans to also change the prices at her store “dramatically” in order to curb the commonalty of customers “showrooming” in stores. She also eventually hopes to use the data she gathers about customers to enable her to offer deals and to amplify her offerings, according to WSJ.