After revamping the look and layout of the sole Chicago storefront, Marcus doubled down on W82's core customer by setting up two dedicated snowboarding and skateboarding departments. He also pushed the company a bit outside its comfort zone by opening up spaces for footwear, electronics (so customers could make impulse buys for things like drones) and a fully fleshed out swimwear department.
Since W82's Marcus Lemonis-makeover, staff says the day-to-day of the business is mostly unchanged; it's behind the scenes where Marcus has really made an impact. With his oversight, staffers have been placed in positions that take advantage of their specific expertise and skill sets. Case in point: Jess, who'd been pigeonholed as a store manager, now acts as buyer for W82, a position Chris had previously held.
"Going into this process, I tried to be very open," says Jess. "… And I feel like we hit it off pretty early on and I got a really good feeling about Marcus. And I felt pretty comfortable with him."
As for the future, the team says it's looking to leverage Marcus' diverse brand portfolio for some unique marketing experiences.
"I see the company just growing in new categories that we didn't think we'd ever get in," says Tony. "So, from an online perspective, I see that getting much deeper. [From] an in-store perspective, I see us being able to focus on marketing strategies that we didn't necessarily have the means to do before with the help of some of Marcus' teams [and] Marcus' other companies."
With Marcus on board, it's safe to say, the W82 of today's pulled a complete 180.