Much has been said of how virtual reality, and its sister technology augmented reality, are going to disrupt the retail business. Lowe’s Companies Inc. (LOW) is testing the potential of VR by bringing a virtual reality experience to some of its stores. (See also: Home Improvement Helping to Boost Lowe's.)

Lowe’s announced yesterday, March 7, that it is introducing an on-request virtual reality skills clinic called the Holoroom How To. The concept is designed to offer customers on-demand training on home improvement projects. For instance, a customer, in a virtual room, would wear a VR headset and use an HTC Vive hand controller to simulate the process of mixing mortar and placing tiles.

Kyle Nel, the director of Lowe's Innovation Labs, told CNNTech that the Holoroom How To concept takes away the logistics headwinds that come with in-store skills clinics conducted by an employee. The employee-taught clinics require times and dates are set, which may not be convenient for customers, versus the VR clinics that can be accessed at customers’ most convenient times.

In addition, during a trial, Lowe’s found that customers could retain a how-to training 36 percent better when VR is used than when customers watched a YouTube how-to video. The home improvement giant is looking to use the concept to attract millennials, who, according to Lowe’s trend team, are not going the DIY path due to low home improvement confidence.

Lowe’s initial rollout is to collect data, so it can learn how it can scale the idea. The retailer said:

“Over the course of several months, Lowe's will evaluate customer response to this experience, gauging how this technology impacts customer learning and confidence. From this pilot, Lowe's will learn how innovations like Holoroom How To will enable instantaneous learning moments and massively scalable training opportunities that empower both customers and employees around the world.”

After Lowe’s announced earnings results last week, Seth Sigman at Credit Suisse wrote in a research note that Lowe’s narrowed the gap between itself and Home Depot Inc. (HD) by reporting better-than-expected earnings. Lowe’s would be looking to keep closing that gap with its VR concept.

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