Ashley Furniture partners with Marxent on virtual reality initiative

Virtual reality, augmented reality experience coming to some stores in 2017

Marxent_VRSome Ashley retail locations will include in-store virtual reality tech bars with VR headset visualization.
Ashley Furniture Industries is pursuing a company-wide virtual reality and augmented reality strategy to enable consumers to create interior layouts and experience living spaces in 3-D, the furniture manufacturer and retailer announced today.

“Augmented and virtual reality are essential to our growth and vision for the future,” said Todd Wanek, Ashley’s president and CEO. “Our data shows that a combination of 3-D visualization, seeing, touching and feeling actual products, combined with the consultation of our knowledgeable salespeople, will lead to a stand-apart customer experience that is location-flexible.”

Ashley is working closely with Marxent, which specializes in augmented reality and virtual reality for products and spaces, using the company’s Visual Commerce platform to create and scale their product catalog and publish new 3-D product experiences for augmented reality and virtual reality.

“We are committed to creating a seamless omni-channel customer experience and, with Marxent, we found the platform and the partner who can deliver,” Wanek said.

The first product of this relationship is the Ashley augmented reality shopping app, which will help shoppers see how home furnishings fit into an existing space. Additionally, in-store virtual reality tech bars will combine a guided iPad-based space configuration experience with VR headset visualization, allowing shoppers to design and visualize their bedrooms, dining rooms or living rooms.

“Ashley has a history of innovation and using technology to differentiate and create exceptional value for customers,” said Beck Besecker, CEO and co-founder of Marxent. “Putting AR and VR at the center of the Ashley shopping experience makes sense for them as a growth strategy. Their commitment to this vision is clear and we’re excited to be a part of Ashley’s future vision of retail.”

Ashley will announce which store locations will implement the new virtual experience in 2017.

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