On Wednesday, Suitsupply, an international tailoring brand, announced new in-store and digital features to adapt for reopening during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a company press release.
New in-store features include partitions that allow for close interactions during pinning sessions, face masks and reduced in-store capacity. The retailer also introduced a new guided virtual shopping experience with live style experts on its website and an online appointment booking tool to reserve prepared fitting rooms and private shopping suites, per the release.
The company said in its statement that it has tested and adapted measures rolled out in other countries to come up with the new shopping protocols for U.S. consumers.
Since the coronavirus pandemic has forced retailers to close, Suitsupply joins other retailers in strategizing how to reopen safely. The retailer noted in its statement that high-touch customization services, including on-site alterations and custom made suiting, "are the brand's defining services," and as such faced particular challenges during the pandemic. As the brand begins to reopen its storefronts, Suitsupply is preparing to meet the needs of a changed consumer.
As retailers plan to reopen stores on a large scale, many have introduced new in-store safety precautions to open up brick-and-mortar locations in compliance with local regulations. Suitsupply noted in its statement that the coronavirus outbreak, and the restrictions that have come with it, inspired the brand to rethink its operations.
Before the coronavirus pandemic forced retailers to close, brands and retailers like Estée Lauder, Sephora, Burberry and L'Oréal were already working to introduce virtual shopping to consumers, specifically with augmented reality applications. Now the international health crisis has pushed other retailers to get creative with their technological offerings.
As Suitsupply adds online appointment booking and guided virtual experiences, other retailers have made similar moves, including David's Bridal, which has introduced virtual appointments for styling consultations. David's Bridal, along with other companies like Kendra Scott, have also introduced digital tools to engage with consumers as they social distance.