Kate Spade is copying Apple and Lululemon

Kate spadeWikimedia CommonsExpect changes in Kate Spade stores.

Kate Spade is giving more than 100 of its stores major makeovers,  Buzzfeed reports.

Now, shopping experiences will be referred to as “guest journeys,” the company’s chief marketing officer, Mary Beech, told Buzzfeed. 

These experiences, Buzzfeed reports, may include candy, confetti, birthday candles, Polaroid stations, and guest books. 

With these changes, sales associates will be called “muses,” similarly to how Lululemon’s sales associates are “educators” and Apple’s associates are hailed to be “geniuses.”

This is intentional.

“We realised being called a sales associate did not represent that change and that being called a muse — a muse of style, a muse of lifestyle, a muse of the interesting life — was a nice way to manifest that change for them and to say to the associate: ‘Your job is now not just a sale. Your job is first and foremost to authentically engage with that customer how she wants to experience Kate Spade that day,'” Beech relayed to Buzzfeed. “That change, I think from an associate to muse has been incredibly empowering to our associates.”

“The muses are now trained when someone comes in to obviously greet them, which is the nice thing to do, but the first thing isn’t showing them a product unless they come in and say, ‘Oh my gosh, I need a dress for a party,” Beech said to Buzzfeed. “The experience should be very much personalised and responding to you and what you’re looking for versus trying to sell an individual item.”

 These tactics could plausibly be to appeal to millennials. This winter, Kate Spade shuttered all of its Kate Spade Saturday stores, The Wall Street Journal reported. The store was designated to appeal to a younger audience. (Male-oriented Jack Spade also shut all of its doors.)

This strategy is a tenet of Kate Spade’s plan to stay relevant amid a retail environment with plenty of promotions and an economy that’s causing young people to stay away from buy luxury goods, like handbags.

“And finally, we are relentlessly focused on protecting quality of sale to foster aspiration, drive demand, and help maintain gross margins, despite the promotional retail landscape,” CEO Craig Leavitt said on a recent earnings call. “We continue to deliver results through our deliberate pull-back on sales and promotional events, modifying our in-store sales posture, and reducing the number of flash sales this year versus last year.”

Additionally, given the dire state of retail, it remains more crucial than ever for brands to keep their customers highly engaged.

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