A concept store is an expansion on the typical brick-and-mortar retail concept. It is a place, usually the brand’s flagship store, where retailers try innovative ideas out in order to grab potential customers’ attention and get them to linger around.
There are many ways this is accomplished. It can be done with experimental fixtures and layouts, immersive shopping experiences, and original products that play to a specific audience. Let’s answer some questions you may have about the idea:
Are Concept Stores an Answer to the Economic Downturn?
While they may bring in quarantining customers that were more likely to order items online, this idea predates the pandemic. It actually peaked in 2019 and may have originally been a knee-jerk reaction to the rising popularity of both Amazon and big box stores. That said, concept stores have proven to be popular with customers who want more than a typical shopping experience, especially during the holiday season.
What are the Most Popular Concepts in Retail?
First, there is what is known as the immersive encounter. This is when you have different services, such as an indoor restaurant or café, as well as ways to participate, such as gamification and additional technology, to add to the regular shopping experience.
Next, there is the notion of the in-store digital hybrid. This is usually when a retailer advises their potential customers to download their app or become part of its email list in order to receive special offers and coupons which can only be used in the physical store.
The last type is one of specific product and service customization. This concept of “customer co-creation” introduces tailors on-site and other lifestyle services to customize apparel as well as design equipment to personalize assorted items.
What are Some Examples of Concept Stores?
The Yankee Candle in Natick, Massachusetts, contains an area where customers can create their own candle scents and then add a label featuring their own photos or messages.
The Manhattan Lululemon offers Zen pods and meditation classes as an adjunct to its products.
The winter coat retailer, Canada Goose, has its flagship store in Toronto, and it features a cracking glass walkway that simulates ice, along with an arctic echo, and one room refrigerated down to -12 degrees Fahrenheit.
Nordstrom in Manhattan has a full floor dedicated to customer service only. It also has a new store-within-a-store type of set-up. For example, Nike has its own specific section, as does Burberry, and Eileen Fisher is housed in a fifth floor pop-up.
Nordstrom is also sure to cater to all unique tastes with a different food shop, café, or full service restaurant on each of its seven floors.
Kroger, a grocer, has an actual living farm installed into its Seattle store. They, so far, have been growing leafy greens, as well as herbs, ensuring the freshest vegetables possible.
The Times Square Levi’s Jeans store has its own customization tailor on-site to add buttons, embroidery, or bright patches to denim.
In conclusion, retail is changing all around us, but it is simply trying to get our attention. So, if you think a shopping trip may be boring or bothersome compared to ordering online, try a concept store and you may be surprised.