When it comes to retail, things can get a bit… wild. Wendy Liebmann, CEO, Founder and Chief Shopper (only in retail are there titles like this) for WSL Strategic Retail took attendees of her afternoon breakout session on a worldwide shopping safari to find what’s working in stores. Let me unpack for you…
The key takeaway from our journey? The modern shopper can’t be confined. Shoppers aren’t satisfied with a store, they want something more.
Technology has created “hyper-channel shoppers” as Liebmann named them, who won’t sit back and let retailers define for them what they can and can’t buy, or where they have to buy it. In Tokyo, Uniqlo (think $9 t-shirts) and high-end luxury store, Dover Street Market, nearly share a store space, with open floor plan concepts and what Liebmann describes as a “runway” separating the stores, making it easy and acceptable to shop either store, or both.
In London, Burberry has opened a store that takes omnichannel shopping to the next level – completely designing their brick-and-mortar off the website. Inside the store, you feel like you’re in the website, with interactive screens throughout the space acting as mirrors and display cases acting as “mood setters” transforming the store to highlight seasons, or a new line. For example, they’ve simulated rainstorms to give shoppers a feel for how their legendary raincoats will look in any weather.
It’s not just a nice, clean or cool store shoppers want; they are looking for an experience. While Toronto’s Lululemon is a traditional brick-and-mortar, their stores are anything but traditional. It’s more than a fabulous fitness clothing store it’s a lifestyle store. lululemon is known for moving aside the clothing racks for yoga classes, building community with their shoppers.
Shoppers aren’t one-size-fits-all, and the closer a retailer can get in matching their store to their consumer the better. Walgreens’ new flagship store in Chicago is completely designed around “daily living” for the urbanite. Forget everything you know about drugstores as you walk through the doors, this place even has a sushi bar and wine department – in addition to the sections you expect from a drugstore, like a pharmacy and paper towels. Perfect one-stop shopping for the city dweller living far from a large, suburban grocery store.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve got the travel bug.