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Intelligent Nutrients is giving its organic product offering a high-tech spin for its first brick-and-mortar outpost, a 1,000-square-foot space in the Mall of America.
This story first appeared in the October 12, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Set for a soft launch on Black Friday, the store will officially open its doors the following week, according to brand president Tyler Heiden Jones.
“We always knew we wanted an experiential bricks-and-mortar element to our business,” said Heiden Jones, who added that the brand derived much of its inspiration from Apple stores’ “ability to animate a retail experience. We believe that using technology allows the consumer to control just how much product information they want, when they want it and how they want it,” he said. “And [just] think of all the brochures we don’t have to print.”
To that end, the Intelligent Nutrients store and sales associates will be equipped with a number of Apple devices — from iPads to iPhones — that allow for various levels of service. For example, sales associates can conduct full checkouts on the sales floor and e-mail receipts to the consumer, forgoing the traditional cash wrap and even the need for shopping bags. For those customers who prefer a more informative experience, no less than five iPads will sit on the sales floor, each featuring educational material about the brand and its offerings. “If you want to buy a product, in a New York minute you can do that. If you want to get into a more detailed discussion about ingredients and being proactive about protecting yourself, your family and the environment, we can do that,” said Heiden Jones, who added that the brand’s Web site will also be updated and relaunched in November. “[Intelligent Nutrients] is not only about giving intelligent choices to consumers, it’s about educating them.”
The store will feature a private back room for hair services, including blowouts and scalp massages and treatments. Complimentary energy reading services will also be offered, which calculate client’s energy levels with a biofeedback machine before and after sampling Intelligent Nutrients products. “The back room will be built on experiential component that shows how products work instantly,” said Heiden Jones. Designed with in an eco-luxe positioning, the outpost will also feature soundproofing that filters outside noises and keeps consumers immersed.
In order to take the idea of naturals out of the “granola” realm into the modern, the outpost’s color scheme will reflect a “sophisticated neutral” palette. “When [guests] walk in, it’s going to feel like a cocoon,” said Heiden Jones. “It will be an oasis within the mall.” Although the brand declined to break out figures, industry insiders believe the Intelligent Nutrients store could generate at least $1 million in its first year.
To differentiate the store from the online shopping experience, Heiden Jones said a number of in-store exclusives will be offered, including a range of private collection aromas and body healing items, formulated for the location by Intelligent Nutrients’ founder, Horst Rechelbacher. “It’s about creating that experience you can’t get purely online,” said Heiden Jones, adding that the Mall of America draws in 55 million people a year, a number that represents more than those who visit to Disneyland and Disney World combined each year. “If you don’t have a point of differentiation to create an experience at point of service in brick-and-mortar, why do [customers] need to go to you?”
Looking to the future, Heiden Jones said discussions are underway for a second store to be opened in New York next year.