Things Remembered, the personal products and gifts retailer, announced on Tuesday that it has introduced iPads to all its 174 stores and "Personalization Bars" to 50 of them in what it's calling "the first phase of its in-store innovations." At the Personalization Bars, customers can design personalized items and watch how their items are created, according to a company press release emailed to Retail Dive.
In the company's statement, the brand said that it has started hosting events at its stores across the country to make customers aware of its interactive technology. Customers can attend these events throughout the holiday season, including "trunk shows, launch parties for new products, wedding and birthday celebrations, and more festive, seasonal events." Shoppers can use the iPads to customize gifts as well as preview and edit their designs with a staff personalization expert, the company noted.
The retailer said it has also been working on a new store prototype. In its press release, the company called the updates "part of a larger plan to evolve the brand, enhance the customer experience and highlight the brand's unique and growing personalization offerings."
The retailer's decision to modernize its stores comes after the brand, burdened by a reported $120 million in debt, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February and sold most of its business to Enesco. Before the filing, news outlets reported rumors the retailer would be closing most of its stores in bankruptcy, but the deal with Enesco left 176 of its locations open.
In light of the filing, revamping its current locations may be a good move to get customers invested in the in-store experience, a trend many retailers are interested in, though the strategy is not without its challenges. The move to add personalization bars and iPads for Things Remembered seems to be aimed at both simplifying the gift personalization process and unleashing consumers' creativity.
"Today so much of retail is about the customer experience. And because we're celebrating the moments that matter in life, big and small, we want to ensure the Things Remembered experience is as personal, thoughtful and engaging as possible," Nelson Tejada, president and CEO of Things Remembered, said in a statement.