Welcome to The Week in Retail, a weekly roundup for marketers from Quad Insights that covers the latest must-know news surrounding the retail space.

H&M opens new SoHo location featuring secondhand shop-within-a-shop, high-tech features

Fast-fashion retailer H&M announced on Monday the opening of a new store in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood that includes a shop-within-a-shop that sells curated secondhand clothing from the brand. The store is the first H&M location in North America to feature what the retailer is calling its “Pre-Loved” in-store concept, which the retailer launched online last year.

In contrast to the secondhand merch, the new store includes plenty of high-tech features, including mobile checkout from anywhere in the store and smart mirrors that provide personalized product and styling recommendations.

The takeaway: H&M is referring to the items in its “Pre-Loved” section as “one-of-a-kind secondhand pieces,” which is a deft way to create an aura of scarcity/exclusivity around used merch.

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Nordstrom partners with popular women’s shoe brands to relaunch its “Make Room for Shoes” campaign

Nordstrom has announced plans to relaunch its “Make Room for Shoes” campaign, Footwear News’ Stephen Garner reports, harkening back to the retailer’s origins as a shoe store, which opened in 1901. The year-long campaign, which is focused on women, “will feature a curated selection of new styles, exclusives, dedicated visual displays and shopping experiences,” Garner notes, adding that footwear brands including On, Sam Edelman, Birkenstock and Larroudé are partnering with Nordstrom on the initiative.

The takeaway: Nordstrom is smartly leveraging its footwear heritage to strengthen its marketing partnerships with top brands to build its reputation among consumers as a destination for shoe shopping.

Amazon launches in-app AI-powered shopping assistant

Amazon has launched a beta version of an AI-powered shopping assistant on its mobile app to a small subset of customers, per a company statement. Designed to facilitate product discovery, Rufus, as the assistant is named, can answer customers’ questions, make product recommendations and provide comparisons directly through the search bar on the app. Amazon plans to roll out the AI tool to the rest of its U.S. customers over the coming weeks.

The takeaway: As returns are increasingly cutting into e-commerce profits, Amazon may have found a partial solution to the problem — an intelligent tool trained on the retailer’s extensive catalog that promises to help consumers select items they’re more likely to keep.

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