Would you buy clothes from a vending machine?

March 26, 2015

Innovation Factory

Gap believes there’s a chance you will, said recently appointed CEO Art Peck in an interview. The retail company is keen to ‘throw some stuff at the wall’ to see what gets customers excited – including something that ‘might resemble a vending machine’ to make picking up items quicker and easier, the website Fast Company reports.

Peck wants to lead the way to what he calls ‘Retail 3.0.’: ‘a mobile-fuelled future in which physical stores will have an entirely new role’. To this end, the company is also looking to incorporate customer and salespeople’s feedback into code, in real time, and to test mobile registers, showroom formats, interactive digital walls and radio-frequency identification-tagged clothing.

Rapid prototyping, ‘typical in a lot of other industries – not so typical in ours – will be critical for figuring out this collision of physical and digital’, the CEO argues. ‘The faster you are conceiving a product and putting it on the shelf, the less risk there is.’

The store of tomorrow
Peck’s main goals are to reconquer customers and help create the store of tomorrow, in a highly competitive and disruptive digital world.

Periods of disruption, nevertheless, can bring about ‘disproportionate opportunity’ with high stakes, he stresses. ‘We’ve been doing business the same way for 40 years, and there are very few 40-year-old business models that are successful forever.’ He adds, ‘More money is made during disruptive times – but is also lost – than is made during times of stability.’

Art Peck previously headed Gap’s Growth, Innovation and Digital Division. He was responsible, among other innovations, for omni-channel offerings that bridge digital and physical retail.

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