The unveiling of a new retail store has raised the notion of whether the future of retail involves smaller store footprints that do not hold any stock on-site.
Australian wellness business InnerOrigin launched two years ago as an online retail and advocacy company. And like many online retailers, it is looking to make the leap into bricks and mortar retailing.
The difference, however, is that its retail stores will not house rows of shelves lined with stock.
Instead, once the first InnerOrigin store opens in Manly on Sydney’s Northern Beaches in January 2019, customers will find it to be a place where they can see, touch, feel and test products, and then order them for home delivery — just as they would had they ordered products from their lounge room or mobile phone.
The company is calling the store concept “touch, learn, order only”.
“After a year of market research, we have developed the TLO store model — touch, learn, order only — because we believe people want the convenience of online, but they miss the experiential pleasure and accuracy that in-store shopping provides. It provides the perfect “best of both” solution for our customers,” CEO Sally-Anne Ferguson explained.
“In a time when many retailers are struggling with the cost of rent and overheads, and online retailers are looking to bridge the gap to engage physically in person with their customers, we believe that our TLO retail stores are the solution to both challenges, and are the exact experience customers want.”
Ms Ferguson said that the company is looking to become “a full omnichannel retailer”, selling via the web, through social media, through its stores and via in-home personal shopping experiences.
The Sydney store will open on 5 January 2019. InnerOrigin has plans to open only three “TLO” stores, with one each to follow in Melbourne and Perth.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.