McKinsey & Company Opens Its First Retail Store in Collaboration With Mall of America

Store Signals Brick-and-Mortar Is Critical to the Future of Retail

NEW YORK, Oct. 01, 2019 — McKinsey & Company, in collaboration with Mall of America, today announced the launch of its first-ever retail concept — Modern Retail Collective, a live retail space in Mall of America. The space offers retailers the opportunity to work with McKinsey and Mall of America to test dozens of new technologies and discover what’s possible when multiple technologies, analytics and store operations work together to elevate in-store experiences. At the same time, shoppers can interact with retailers in new ways in-store and across a variety of channels.

Modern Retail Collective will be refreshed regularly to bring new technology, brands and experiences together to offer seamless and immersive end-to-end customer journeys in the largest retail and entertainment center in North America. The store will open to the public on Friday, Sept. 27, and will feature four fashion and beauty brands: Elevé Cosmetics, Kendra Scott, ThirdLove and type:A Deodorant. Technology and advisory participants include Chatter Research, Compass Marketing, ComQi, FaceCake, Farfetch, Flexa, Microsoft, MSM Solutions, Smartrac, Square, RetailNext and Zebra Technologies.

Through 2019, shoppers can experience the following, among others:

  • Interactive mobile hotspots throughout the store providing single-tap access to product details and allowing customers to create a virtual basket as they go
  • Smart mirrors and fit predictor software allowing virtual trial of products outside the fitting room
  • Faster future payment options, including mobile and cryptocurrency capabilities


“Retailers are experiencing many pressures as they navigate the evolving retail landscape. As a result, stores are closing left and right, with more than 8,000 U.S. store closures announced so far this year,” said Tiffany Burns, Partner in McKinsey’s Atlanta office and Retail Stores Practice Lead, North America. “Modern Retail Collective will provide insights to retailers exploring opportunities to re-imagine the store through new in-store experiences and technologies that will enhance customer experience and overall store performance.”

Retailers are inundated with the magnitude of new technology available and are often unsure how and where to invest. At the same time, pressure is mounting to deliver omnichannel experiences that seamlessly transition customers between traditional and digital shopping journeys. McKinsey research shows that 60 percent of consumer apparel journeys include a digital touchpoint for research, transaction or both. In addition, McKinsey research shows omnichannel shoppers spend more, purchase twice as often and engage over longer periods of time compared to single-channel shoppers.

“Modern Retail Collective will unlock the power of multiple technologies working together to cultivate pioneering insights retailers need to transform their customer experience,” said Praveen Adhi, Partner in McKinsey’s Chicago office and Retail Operations Lead, Americas. “Through this project, we’ll produce cutting-edge data and analytics to help retailers define their own vision for their store of the future.”

“Mall of America recognizes the importance of evolving the consumer experience and has been leading efforts to help current and new tenants alike succeed in the everchanging retail landscape,” said Jill Renslow, SVP of Business Development for Mall of America. “Modern Retail Collective will offer brands a flexible environment to test new technology and discover what resonates with their customers. We are honored to collaborate with McKinsey, such a well-respected innovator in the retail industry, on this endeavor.”

Jennifer Spaulding Schmidt, Senior Partner in McKinsey’s Minneapolis office and Midwest Consumer Lead, a Minneapolis native, is especially confident in the promising partnership between McKinsey and Mall of America. “Mall of America is and has always been a leader in evolving the in-store shopping experience, and they are well known in the industry as a place to pilot new concepts, which makes them the perfect partner for Modern Retail Collective,” says Schmidt.

As a leader in management consulting, McKinsey is in a position to convene the right partners and bring unparalleled expertise to solve for the store of the future. In early 2020, McKinsey will welcome an array of new retail and technology players for the next installment of Modern Retail Collective, which will focus on tech-enabled service and personalization.

About McKinsey & Company 

McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm, deeply committed to helping institutions in the private, public, and social sectors achieve lasting success. For more than 90 years, our primary objective has been to serve as our clients' most trusted external advisor. With consultants in 133 cities in 66 countries, across industries and functions, we bring unparalleled expertise to clients anywhere in the world. We work closely with teams at all levels of an organization to shape winning strategies, mobilize for change, build capabilities, and drive successful execution.

McKinsey’s Retail practice is a global group of more than a hundred dedicated partners, and the largest consumer and retail consultancy in the world. We work with 17 of the world’s top 25 retailers across all areas of the retail value chain. In the past five years, we have supported clients in more than 1,600 engagements. Our consultants work in close partnership with client executives and pass on expertise by building skills and capabilities.

About Mall of America

At 5.6 million square feet, Mall of America is the largest shopping and entertainment complex in North America with more than 520 world-class retail stores and restaurants, including Nickelodeon Universe, the nation’s largest indoor theme park; SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium; FlyOver America; Crayola Experience; Hard Rock Café; The Escape Game; CMX Cinemas and more. The Mall opened in 1992 and is located in Bloomington, Minn., minutes from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul and adjacent to the MSP International Airport. Follow Mall of America on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Download the Mall of America app from the App Store for iOS or Google Play for Android.


Janiece Lehmann
McKinsey & Company

Bill Abelson
Zebra Technologies