McKinsey Joins the Pop-Up Retail Market with New Store at Mall of America

A new retail pop-up, showcasing a rotating cast of fashion and beauty brands, opened at the Mall of America today, following in the footsteps of Neighborhood Goods, Fourpost and Brandbox. But unlike its peers, this pop-up store is being opened by global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company and represents the firm’s single largest investment in its retail practice.

The store is named Modern Retail Collective and debuts with four brands: beauty labels Elevé Cosmetics and Type:A Deodorant, jewelry company Kendra Scott and lingerie maker ThirdLove. The brands will remain in the space for three to four months, at which point a new lineup will be brought in. The next labels are expected to arrive in early 2020.

The main differentiator for Modern Retail Collective is that McKinsey has also brought on several technology partners to support the space, including Microsoft and Square. Through this combination of digital tools, McKinsey will track each stage of the customer’s journey through the store, analyze the data and use it to inform its retail partners on best practices in real time. McKinsey will also publish its findings for the larger industry.

“Retailers are experiencing many pressures as they navigate the evolving business landscape,” said Tiffany Burns, partner and retail stores practice lead at McKinsey. “As a result, stores are closing left and right, with more than 8,000 U.S. closures announced so far this year. Modern Retail Collective will provide insights through new in-store experiences and technologies that will enhance customer experience and overall store performance.”

Technology is implemented throughout the store, in the form of interactive stations for customers and underlying digital support for staff. Mobile hot spots allow customers to access product details and add to their virtual baskets with a single finger tap, while smart mirrors offer the ability to try on items digitally outside the fitting room. And payments can even be made with cryptocurrency.

While Modern Retail Collective is McKinsey’s first store concept, it is not Mall of America’s first foray into the pop-up market. Fourpost, which hosts a selection of brands across the fashion, home and food industries, is also currently located inside the mall.

“Mall of America recognizes the importance of evolving the consumer experience and has been leading efforts to help current and new tenants alike succeed in the ever-changing retail landscape,” said Jill Renslow, SVP of business development for Mall of America.

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