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Retail is in the midst of getting a makeover, and The Container Store has a new store prototype decked out with tech upgrades and outfitted with organization studios, digital design screens and a lounge area.
The Coppell, Texas-based retailer is opening up its first revamped store in Dallas this week. The 40-year-old company wants to use the space as a testing ground before executing a grander rollout to its more than 90 shops across the U.S.
The overhaul comes at a time when many older brands are navigating a constantly evolving retail landscape as Amazon grows its private-label business and threatens to disrupt categories like furniture, clothing and grocery. Many retailers, including Target, Express and Abercrombie & Fitch, are remodeling their stores to compete.
"One of the things we want to do is make our stores more approachable," Container Store CMO Melissa Collins told CNBC. "We find customers feel overwhelmed and intimidated. They're not very organized — so they're thinking, 'How do I get started?'"
The Container Store's redesigned location in Dallas has a more open layout, a wider selection of inventory and design specialists on site for one-on-one appointments. According to Collins, the company "took a lot of cues from its online business" to determine where to invest more in bricks and mortar. Because many customers come to the website looking for projects and inspirational tips, the revamped store has much more of that, she said.
"This is also a confidence-building opportunity for our employees," Val Richardson, vice president of real estate at The Container Store, said. "We are having training sessions on the new technology to make sure they're much more comfortable using it."
Take a first look inside the Dallas store with these photos: