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From Home Furnishing Business

Macy’s Launches VR Furniture Pilot

Macy’s (NYSE:M) chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette has announced the details of several new technology initiatives including a Virtual Reality (VR) furniture pilot, which will allow customers to virtually design and experience the interior of a room for which they are purchasing furnishings.

Other new technologies include scan, pay, go mobile checkout, slated for nationwide rollout by the end of the year and an augmented reality experience which will rollout beginning in April.

The new VR in-store furniture experience, powered by Marxent’s 3D Cloud and VR solution, is reducing customer worry over fit as they test out potential purchases virtually.

Piloted at three locations including Macy’s flagship store in New York City, and at Macy’s stores in Paramus, NJ, and Dadeland, Fl., the furniture VR technology will be scaled to an additional 60 locations nationwide by Fall of 2018 covering Macy’s largest furniture departments.

“Consumers today don’t just adopt technology, they absorb it at a tremendous pace, but they want it to be useful to their needs,” said Gennette. “Like a lot of brands, we’ve experimented with VR in a number of areas and we’re excited to have found a practical application that has proven to drive sales.”

Gennette continued, “In furniture, we are giving our customers a new tool that will allow them to virtually test out home furnishings, helping them make more informed decisions on these important purchases.”

Macy’s 3D furniture experience allows customers to place furnishings in a virtual room they design using a tablet. First they will map out the dimensions and shape of the room for which they are buying products. Then they will select the items they want and lay them out virtually in the room. Customers can refine the design as needed until they find what works best and finally test it out virtually by stepping into the room using VR headsets to get a true-to-life experience that allows them to walk around the coffee table, couch and other furnishings.

The retailer will also be rolling out an augmented reality experience in furniture shopping starting next month, allowing customers to virtually place Macy’s furniture products in their actual living spaces.

“As part of our test, iterate and scale model for innovation we are excited to expand our launch of Mobile Checkout powered by the Macy’s app, providing our customers with the opportunity to self-serve and speed their transactions with us in-store,” said Gennette.

“We think of the Macy’s app as a key we hand to our customers, a key that allows them to unlock an enhanced shopping experience — a world of possibilities. With this powerful tool in hand, we give them the opportunity to engage with us on their terms. And we keep adding exciting new features to it based on what they tell us,” Gennette said.

Mobile Checkout leverages the app’s in-store mode to power the self-service feature. Customers will need to download the free Macy’s app and join Macy’s free Wi-Fi network allowing them to scan the items they wish to purchase using their phone’s camera and the app’s built-in scanner. The app will allow customers to apply relevant offers and rewards to eligible purchases. When ready to checkout, customers can pay on the app with their pre-registered credit card and walk to a Mobile Checkout counter to have associates verify the purchase, remove security tags, and bag their items.

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