Beyond the Boardroom: Virtual Reality, Combining Technology and the Human Touch

When it comes to shopping for furniture, it can be difficult to commit to a piece without knowing how it will look and fit in your home. That’s why we’re taking all the guess work out of designing your living space. In a recent Beyond the Boardroom, we followed Chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette as he talked to colleagues about one of our latest technology initiatives – using virtual reality (VR) to help customers bring their living spaces to life when purchasing new furniture.

Using VR in our stores is a terrific example of combining technology and the human touch. Powered by Marxent's 3D Cloud and VR solution, customers can design their living spaces on an iPad with the help of a Macy’s colleague and use a VR headset to immerse themselves into the space and make adjustments to furniture placement. Our customers can virtually try out potential purchases, eliminating worry over choosing the right pieces for their home and significantly reducing returns.

With VR as a sales aide, we also can offer a full range of furniture in less than half the space. We hope to have VR in as many stores as possible – starting with 60 stores this summer.

And virtual reality is just the start. We’re expanding these practical applications by testing augmented reality in our mobile app, transforming the way our customers configure, design and visualize their living spaces.

“We’ve now set up the foundation for Macy’s to use virtual reality, which will fuel growth in other parts of the company,” said Mohamed Rajani, Director, Business Development, New Concepts and Partnerships. “We’re at the cusp of seeing a mass adoption of virtual and augmented reality technologies, so we’ll be able to leverage the success we’ve had in furniture to take these technologies to the next level at Macy’s.”

Watch the latest episode of Beyond the Boardroom as Jeff visits colleagues at our New York City flagship in Herald Square to hear more about how they launched this new shopping experience.