Retail Pulse: The Vitamin Shoppe Opens NextGen Store; Dollar General Taps Into BOPIS

The Vitamin Shoppe

Brick-and-mortar retailers are creating next-generation stores that incorporate interactive features into their designs with the help of technology. The Vitamin Shoppe, for instance, reimagined a 3,185 square-foot space in Edgewater, New Jersey, building off the footprint of an existing store to debut an “innovation retail concept” per an announcement.

The area includes an “enhanced” mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) checkout, on-demand digital product guides, a specific area to take an Only Me personalized health assessment, a supplement sampling machine, and a complimentary body composition analysis station. The Vitamin Shoppe will also launch the Aptos ONE Store Commerce mobile selling application that enables mobile checkout on iPads. Its health enthusiast associates will be able to engage with customers, answer questions, and ring transactions without leaving the shopper’s side.

The mPOS, as well as the Vbook mobile selling app from The Vitamin Shoppe, will let the health enthusiast associates have easy access to customer and product information. The retailer is also tapping into RetailNext’s advanced heat mapping and traffic counting technology to understand how in-store health enthusiast behavior, promotions and marketing campaigns guide the shopper path to purchase. “These analytics will be leveraged to improve the customer experience across all channels,” according to the retailer.

The Vitamin Shoppe Chief Executive Officer Sharon Leite said in an announcement for the concept, “At The Vitamin Shoppe, we are continually searching for innovative ways to evolve and enhance the customer wellness journey.” Leite continued, in part, “The new digitally-powered elements of our store encourage customers to deeply engage with our product offerings, as well as our highly knowledgeable in-store Health Enthusiasts, for a fully integrated omni-channel experience.”

Beyond brick-and-mortar retail, The Vitamin Shoppe also recently launched the Only Me personalized online assessment that offers a custom assortment of vitamins and supplements to subscribers per past reports. Only Me uses a detailed questionnaire covering daily routines as well as current health status to make a wellness plan. With an assessment complete, the retailer said customers could “expect a uniquely sourced daily regimen, providing them with vitamins and supplements essential to their foundational health.”

With online assessments and reimagined physical retail spaces, The Vitamin Shoppe is aiming to drive innovation in stores and through the web.

In Other Brick-and-Mortar News

Dollar General Corp. is working on making it possible for shoppers to buy products through the web and pick them up at a store near them. The move could help the retailer bring in a younger demographic. Dollar General has a mobile app feature that allows customers to know the exact amount they will pay by totaling up products in-store.

Chief Information Officer Carman Wenkoff said in reference to buying online and picking up in-store per a report, “We’ve always tried to be at the leading edge of value and convenience, and we hear our customers talking about this a lot.” Roughly 45 percent of shoppers at Dollar General tap into digital tools from the retailer or other merchants when they shop.

In other news, The Michaels Companies and UPS have announced they are joining forces to launch UPS Access Point locations to over 1,100 Michaels stores around the country. Customers can ship UPS packages directly to a Michaels location, drop off pre-labeled shipments and make returns to online merchants that were shipped by UPS.

Michaels Senior Vice President of Business Development and Growth Matthew Rubin said in a press release, “Michaels has long been recognized as a one-stop shop for all décor and creative needs and providing value to our customers through UPS Access Point® locations will bring added convenience to our shoppers.”

And H&M Group has taken a majority stake in Sellpy, with a move that follows the fashion retailer’s efforts to become fully circular and support its global expansion. The group began investing in the re-commerce business in 2015 and has invested about US$5.07m (SEK50m) via its CO:LAB investment arm.

Sellpy CEO Michael Annör said, according to a report, “We are excited to continue to work even closer with H&M Group to empower everyone to live circular, regardless if they live in Sweden or elsewhere. With the support of H&M Group we can continue to innovate and drive awareness and adoption of re-commerce.”

To keep tabs on the latest retail trends, check next week’s Retail Pulse.