Jenny Fleiss and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson are two experienced entrepreneurs working on separate concepts that are expected to evolve the consumer experience.
At a dinner Wednesday night at Amali in Manhattan, Fleiss said she is still hard at work on her Code Eight project for Walmart Inc. She said she expects to share more insights about the project as early as next week.
Earlier this week, she spoke at the International Council of Shopping Centers Conference in Las Vegas on “The Future of Retail.” The Rent the Runway cofounder told WWD that more and more companies are using data to learn from customers and their shopping behaviors to help shape their next business decision. Subscription-based businesses are one example. Another is how companies can adapt their store location to make better use of the space. At Rent the Runway, Fleiss said the flagship on 15th Street in Manhattan is more than 4,000 square feet. “The store became a service center,” she said, noting that consumers can pick up their rental, drop it off or even try it on, and if their selection doesn’t fit, choose another selection.
Wilkis Wilson is senior vice president for consumer strategy and innovation at Allergan. She hinted at work on three digital beauty start-ups, but declined to provide details.
In addition to being the cofounder of Gilt Groupe, Wilkis Wilson was also the chief executive officer of app-based beauty provider Glamsquare and cofounder of home-based closet organization firm Fitz. She said Fitz was sold to Tradesy, a web site that specializes in the sale of pre-worn designer apparel and accessories through consignment. Tradesy in April said it was using the acquisition to complement its own closet concierge business.
As the two discussed the state of mobile shopping, one theme became evident — how to make the process easier for time-pressed women who are juggling the demands of work and being a mom. Both have relied on their Amazon Prime memberships in the past, but say they rarely use that anymore.
That’s not exactly a knock on Amazon, but more a reflection of how competitors using AI are better able to connect with their customer base. According to Fleiss, that’s a shopping idea she plans to address in the very near future.