Rebecca Minkoff Deploys Self-Checkout Technology

Affordable luxury fashion lifestyle brand Rebecca Minkoff is working with QueueHop to re-imagine the retail store checkout experience with the introduction of self-checkout technology. Rebecca Minkoff has been widely credited as a leader in digital innovation in the fashion industry. QueueHop has been working exclusively with Rebecca Minkoff's design and technology teams to redesign the checkout experience at its flagship store in SoHo, which went live on Dec. 1, 2016.
Apparel Magazine caught up with co-founder Uri Minkoff to get the scoop on the new self-checkout deployment in Rebecca Minkoff's SoHo flagship and why it makes sense for this luxury brand to offer a "low-touch" customer experience. The conversation has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
Below are a few excerpts from the conversation. The entire interview can be seen here.

What prompted Rebecca Minkoff to deploy self-checkout technology?

Uri Minkoff: When we launched our Store of the Future concept in November 2014, self-checkout was actually on the roadmap as a goal. Part of the shopping journey that we wanted to solve for was the customer who wanted the VIP celebrity experience versus the customer who wanted a private or anonymous experience. If we create this truly authentic experience that if you wanted a private shopping journey, how would you actually complete it? The idea that I may be a self-service customer, I know what I want, I don't want to talk to people in the store. That's one extreme end. The other extreme: You're coming in at 2 p.m. and there's a fitting room waiting with champagne for you and items you want are ready. With that first extreme, the customer really loves shopping on ecommerce but it would be great if she could go to the store and have an experience similar to ecommerce in that she didn't have to talk to anyone in store and could navigate through the transaction seamlessly.

How can self-checkout lead to a better in-store experience?

UM: We're trying to solve a human subjective thing. Each of the initiatives we've done in the store so far is driven by this idea: is there an uncomfortable human moment a person had experientially that has caused them not to continue the transaction?

I'm calling it the "Pretty Woman" moment, when Julia Roberts goes into the stores in Beverly Hills and there's that moment of judgment, and the intimidation factor and there's that hostile relationship.

What if your technology is so good that it took away the tension between the sales associate and the customer and there's complete trust there? What if we could take away judgement or prejudice based on skin color or sex or appearance? The person either stole or they didn't. What if we could create a warmer, more comfortable store, a better environment because the worry over theft is gone. We could take away our biases. That's what I wanted to solve.

I want to kick off a conversation amongst retailers. Part of the retail experience is that people are intimidated or uncomfortable going into your stores. What if you took part of that away, would more people come into your stores?