A conversation with Aaron Kirley, LugLess
Aaron Kirley, President of LugLess, answers questions about his company’s partnership with LugLess that will enable holiday shoppers to send gifts directly from the store to any location in the U.S.
Q: Can you walk me through the Tanger National Harbor shopping experience with the LugLess integration? How can shoppers utilize it?
Kirley: Shoppers bring their purchases from any of the stores that they’ve visited to the Shopper Services suite. There, they can choose from two different complimentary box sizes to ship their items. They will use the LugLess kiosk to arrange their shipment by entering the destination address, choosing the shipping speed, and paying by credit card.
Q: Is this the first time that Tanger is working with LugLess?
Kirley: Yes, this is our first partnership in the retail space. LugLess typically partners with travel providers like airlines, hotels, and resorts to offer luggage and sports equipment shipping for travelers. Leveraging our shipping platform to expand into retail shipping is a logical extension for LugLess given our capabilities and experience.
Q: Please describe the target audience for the service? Are they out of town shoppers or those that may want to do all their holiday shopping at once?
Kirley: Out of town shoppers are a natural audience for the “Shop. Ship. Smile” program because we are solving a very real problem they have in getting their purchases home. Checking additional items on the flight home is not only inconvenient, it has become more and more costly in recent years.
People buying gifts are another logical group that we solve a real problem for. Previously, shoppers would need to make a second trip to the Post Office or local pack and ship store, where they would have to stand in line and purchase packing materials. In addition to being far more convenient, the one-stop Tanger+LugLess solution is far less expensive.
Q: The program is called Shop. Ship. Smile; can you outline some of the benefits to shoppers of using the LugLess service? When/why would someone want to use this?
Kirley: This program allows out-of-town shoppers to take full advantage of the savings available at Tanger Outlets, while not having to stress about how to transport all of their things home on the airplane.
For people shopping for others, particularly for the holidays, the program allows for a one-stop solution to shop and ship to one or many people right from Tanger Outlets National Harbor.
Q: Why did you decide to pilot the program at the National Harbor outlet?
Kirley: Tanger’s National Harbor location is popular with tourists. Given its proximity to Washington D.C. as well as neighboring convention hotels like the Gaylord National Harbor and the MGM National Harbor casino, many out-of-town shoppers benefit from having an easy, convenient way to ship their purchases directly home rather than dragging them through the airport.
Q: How long will the program be in effect?
Kirley: The program at Tanger National Harbor will run at least through the second quarter of 2021 at which point we anticipate that demand will justify a broader rollout to other locations.
Q: How will you evaluate the success of the promotion?
Kirley: Success will be measured both quantitatively, the raw demand numbers of shipments, as well as qualitatively, by gathering feedback from shoppers who did and didn’t opt to use the service.
Q: Do you think that the concept of shipping luggage from brick and mortar stores is going to be a new trend?
Kirley: We do think that shipping purchases directly from brick and mortar stores will grow in popularity. Shopping in person has many advantages over online shopping, most notably the ability to see and feel the thing you’re buying and to try on clothes for proper fit. Shipping these things directly to your doorstep, or others as gifts, combines the proven convenience of online shopping. A key reason that shipping from retail stores is not more prevalent is that it hasn’t been made easy and affordable until now. We think that our kiosk-based shipping platform will change that and we look forward to demonstrating that through our partnership with Tanger Outlets
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
Kirley: This year, many factors have led to the acceleration of the innovation in online, brick and mortar, and omni-channel retail. Consumers have demonstrated an appetite for a variety of solutions, not just online versus brick and mortar experiences. As things like buying online pick up in/at store, same-day delivery, and other solutions take off, we see the shop and ship solution being a key part of the retail ecosystem.