Luckily, the executives at Ann Taylor Loft realized just that and have embarked on an ambitious plan to redesign what were wide-open, loft-like (natch) retail spaces, replacing them with warmer environments that provide more direction.
Instead of the expansive spaces, where the consumer doesn't innately know where to focus, shoppers at the redesigned Loft locations are greeted by mannequins wearing the retailer's statement outfits.
The middle of the store houses the "marketplace," tables, and fixtures offering up the season's bestsellers.
"Arcades" -- that are work wear heavy on one side and casual on the other -- flank the center of the store, while the back features the "style closet," which offers layering pieces along with accessories.
"There's a balance to this," Loft president Gary Muto told WWD. "That's important. It's a feel-good thing."
The first of these stores opened in the Paramus Park Mall in New Jersey earlier this month, and there are others planned to be unveiled this August in Bayside, N.Y., and Tustin, Calif., with more opening later in the year.
In the meantime, check out the Ann Taylor dress that blew out of stores in two days.