Clever Retailers Deliver Experience
Traditional businesses being shaken to their cores by factors like technology, being forced to rethink their businesses, approaches, or products. Perhaps this is nowhere truer than in the retail industry – more precisely brick and mortar retail.
Shopping is not just about the transaction. It is about knowing and experiencing, a social activity built around meeting people, and physically discovering, touching and appreciating products.
Mattel’s American Girl Place
It’s what the younger generation is coming to expect. Mattel’s American Girl Place allows girls to take their dolls out to in-store restaurants, to the in-house hair stylist, and of course go shopping for clothing and accessories. Sounds like child’s play? The stores generate more than $1,500 of revenues per square foot, one of the highest in the industry (behind leader Apple, and in the company of stores like Tiffany and Coach). Compare that to a paltry $240 for Toys “R” Us.
Online men’s clothing retailer Bonobos has built an enormously loyal following, and has 10 “Guideshops” nationwide, in which customers are welcome to try things on, choose different colors and patterns, and immerse themselves in all things Bonobos, with the help of a stylist (they call them Guides), and a drink from the fully stocked bar, but without the ability to take anything home. Brand enthusiasts can order online from the store, do so in their own home, or not at all, but the shops are not for buying. Concept stores and pop up stores are furthering supporting this evolution.
Clever retailers, who know that the experience they deliver in-store is something that that Amazon can’t (yet!) deliver to your door, are thriving.
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