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The Future Is Here

Victoria’s Secret unveils the ultimate in experiential shopping in Chicago

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  • RETAILER
    Victoria’s Secret, Reynoldsburg, Ohio
  • MANNEQUINS AND FORMS
    CNL | Patina-V, Buena Park, Calif.

INTIMATE, INNOVATIVE, INVITING – that’s what Victoria’s Secret (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) means to the millions of people whose imaginations the brand captures. And that’s exactly the experience they’ll get in the latest iteration of its iconic lingerie store. In November 2021, the first Victoria’s Secret Store of the Future in Chicago opened its doors, replete with nods to the brand’s evolution through gender-neutral apparel, size-inclusive mannequins and digital integrations.

“We wanted this store to represent the new Victoria’s Secret brand, so we created a space where customers would feel inspired by products and experiences that uplift and champion them in every stage of their lives,” says Albert Gilkey, SVP of Store Design and Construction, Victoria’s Secret & Co.

Mannequins in a range of body types were created using proprietary 3-D modeling and sculpting technology from the company that designed them. The new inclusive sizes showcase the variety of apparel available to shoppers.

Mannequins in a range of body types were created using proprietary 3-D modeling and sculpting technology from the company that designed them. The new inclusive sizes showcase the variety of apparel available to shoppers.

The store, on Harlem Irving Plaza in Northfield, Ill., has an open plan with a clear line of sight through the Victoria’s Secret and Pink branded products, and enhanced with classic touches in muted pink, brass and herringbone. It’s a deliberately welcoming space, offering seamless shopping. “We listened to our customers and developed a store experience specifically for what we heard they wanted. This included easy navigation, a great fitting room experience, clarity of space and checkout technology updates,” says Gilkey.

Victoria’s Secret recently opened additional Store of the Future locations in Birmingham, Ala. (shown directly above) and Houston. Much like the Chicago locale, the stores feature size-inclusive mannequins, gender-neutral apparel and digital touchpoints.

Victoria’s Secret recently opened additional Store of the Future locations in Birmingham, Ala. (shown above, right) and Houston. Much like the Chicago locale, the stores feature size-inclusive mannequins, gender-neutral apparel and digital touchpoints.

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It’s not just product that’s highlighted with bright lighting and striking art deco-esque fixtures, the experience is front and center, like the interactive technology in the fitting rooms that allows customers to engage with products and ask for assistance when needed. “Hooks read a product’s RFID code and corresponding video touchscreens display a digitized catalogue where customers can request the items they are trying in different sizes or colors,” explains Becky Behringer, EVP, North America Store Sales and Operations. “When it’s time to check out, customers can either go to our associates, or use floating checkout stations throughout the store.”

This digital integration offers customers the option to opt out of one-on-one interactions, making the in-store experience ever more inclusive in the post-pandemic climate. For those who love to linger, the store features a baby pink beauty bar flanked by stools. “A place to sit, relax and recharge your phone. This experience is meant to encourage a sense of fun and community,” says Gilkey.

This entirely evokes the direction the brand is moving in – one that “welcomes, celebrates and advocates for all.” The transformation is manifest in the Store of the Future.

PHOTO GALLERY (27 IMAGES)
(Please note: This gallery showcases images from both the brand’s Chicago and Birmingham, Ala. locations.)
📷:  Adrian Wilson, New York

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