Retail Entertainment

Bringing Shoppers to the Store.

With our changing shopping patterns (more online shopping and home delivery) that keep us out of stores, retailers are creating environments that offer richer experiences to draw shoppers back in. Retail theater had its start in the ‘90’s with concepts such as Niketown and Disney stores. Apple brought new life to the idea over a decade ago with its high-touch stores. Today, the retail landscape will continue to be reshaped, forcing retailers to get beyond simply presenting merchandise to deliver what consumers want from brands in the midst of the branded content revolution; brands must create experiences that demonstrate what they stand for and offer consumers more than just the product itself.

  • Like Bikini Berlin, the novel mall in Germany as reported on in “Suburban Blight,” Urban Outfitters has launched a concept store, Space Ninety 8, that uses similar tactics to create a compelling environment, one that could keep a shopper entertained for half a day and into the evening. Space Ninety 8 opened inBrooklyn in April and mixes the wares of local designers with big retail brand’s like Adidas in a pop-up shop format that will revolve and keep the assortment fresh. The store will also host events and, on its rooftop, will operate a restaurant and bar and provide outdoor seating to let shoppers rest and relax into the night.
  • Restoration Hardware‘s recent launch of commissioned contemporary art was complemented with an expansion of its store in the Flatiron District of Manhattan that opened late last year. In July, the doors opened to a now 30,000 square foot space that hosts an art gallery showcasing the new artwork. In their own words, “… we strive to create a distinctive and immersive program that elevates the experience for artists, the art community, and collectors alike. Together, its various elements offer a new way to view, learn about, and acquire contemporary art.”
  • The Pool Aoyama, based in Japan, opened in April by the fashion retailer Jun Group. The name and concept was inspired by the store’s space, complete with an old swimming pool. The clever play on the interior creates a symbol that is unique and freshly compelling to draw shoppers in.
  • Supporting the pop-up store trend, Appear Here in London is a centralized online realtor connecting landlords with tenants for short-term lease venues that suit a retailer’s purpose. Storefronts and Republic Spaces are two other start-ups providing the same services in cities across the globe, all fueling a way to create shopper excitement through randomness and scarcity.
  • Burberry has been pushing the boundaries of retail experiences over the last several years, bringing new formats and leveraging digital technology to entertain within its international flagship stores. It’s no wonder that Angela Ahrendts, Burberry’s former CEO, is now at the healm of Apple’s retail and online store experiences.

Consumer Forecast: Help entertain me outside my home and work.



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