In 2019, we launched our first six NextGen pilot stores across Europe and Asia where we have been testing and learning about how consumers are responding to our new concepts and designs. NextGen is designed to help us reposition our stores into world-class omni-channel experiences that give our consumers an authentic, compelling and consistent expression of the Levi’s® brand.
With a busy 2020 ahead for the project, we checked in with Lance Relicke, vice president, Global Brand Environment, and Alanna Shipley, director, Global Shopper Insights, to find out more about what we’ve learned so far about our NextGen stores and what the road ahead looks like in the next step of our store experience evolution.
What’s the ultimate goal with NextGen stores?
Lance: We make our best impressions with consumers through our Levi’s® stores, which is why it’s so important that we give them a truly elevated experience when they walk through our doors. We want to transform our stores from “just a place to buy Levi’s®” into an immersive, omni-channel brand experience. NextGen’s new store designs, digital features and operating models help us achieve this goal by focusing on customization, fit and style guidance, leveraging brand content in stores and omni-channel capabilities to create a deeper connection with our consumers.
What’s the feedback been like?
Alanna: Consumers really like the look and feel of our NextGen stores. During testing they talked extensively about how the concept is a nice combination of Levi’s® long history with a modern twist.
Our fitting rooms are also making an impact on consumers; they say they’re upscale and that they actually want to stay in them and use them as a lounge. This is a big win for us. About 70 percent of our conversions come when people go into the fitting room, which is why the team made sure to design very comfortable, open fitting rooms where you have a bit more room for style tips and more interaction with people you’re shopping with or our stylists. The store design team did a great job creating an amazing fitting room experience.
Another win is our Tailor Shops. Consumers told us that when they understood the full breadth of services they could get through our Tailor Shops, that was what would make them come back and visit the store again. Consumers are only going to buy so much denim in a year but being able to customize them either for themselves or others as presents is what can keep them coming back into our stores. This is a really big unlock for us and finding the best way to communicate the full experience of our Tailor Shops to consumers is one of our biggest opportunities as we continue to press forward.
Lance: One area that’s gotten really great feedback is our Fit Camps, the signage around the NextGen stores that calls out our fits and makes sure the consumer understands how many fits we have in store and then quickly scans the floor to select which one they want. Part of what we had looked at for NextGen was bigger, bolder and simpler — the Fit Camps are definitely bigger, bolder and simpler. They’re lit, they’re massive and they’re working very, very well in our stores.