News Column

Robot-operated Jeans Store Hointer Expands to Pacific Place

April 5, 2013

Local high-tech jeans store Hointer soon will expand from a single location in Wallingford to a new store at Pacific Place in downtown Seattle.

Hointer, which uses robotics and a smartphone app to sell designer jeans, will take a portion of the ground-floor space formerly occupied by Restoration Hardware.

Under the temporary deal. Hointer will open a 3,070-square-foot store off Olive Way and Seventh Avenue in early June and remain there until year's end, said Pacific Place General Manager Lynn Beck.

"It's being referred to as the store of the future," Beck said. "To be a part of that is a great opportunity for us. Our goal is to always offer something new and exciting."

Former Amazon.com executive Nadia Shouraboura opened Hointer's original store last fall at the base of an apartment building near Interstate 5 in Wallingford. She said she'll keep it open as a testing ground for technology upgrades.

Hointer displays only one of each style of jeans and puts the bulk of its merchandise in an automated stockroom. Shoppers use smartphones to scan the styles they'd like to try on and tap a button to select their sizes.

The store's app sends a message to the stockroom, where an automated system finds the desired items and delivers them to the shopper's dressing room.

Shouraboura, who oversaw order-fulfillment technologies during an eight-year tenure at Amazon, promotes Hointer as a faster and easier way to shop for clothes.

She said she also has signed a lease for a new store at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, Calif.



Source: (c)2013 The Seattle Times. Distributed by MCT Information Services.


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