I was so excited to finally check out the new Greendigs store experience. I received a plethora of texts from close friends, “Have you checked this out yet?” For one, I’m obsessed with plants, yes like everyone else right now, and two, I live just a few blocks from the quaint bank block of Grandview Ave (a neighborhood of Columbus for those who are not familiar). Not to mention, retail and consumer experiences are at the heart of CG’s expertise. Everyone in the area is fascinated by what looks like a fun and thoughtful experience. A perfect combination of the things we love about good retail—immersive, vibrant, and engaging.
A friend sent me a Greendigs gift card as a thank you, and it was burning a hole in my pocket for a week. Finally, an afternoon stroll led me to the store nestled next to Jeni’s Ice Cream (shout out to a Cbus original) and a newly unoccupied restaurant space. It’s received a welcome presence after some of the turmoil the neighborhood went through in the past year.
Upon entering, you’re welcomed by a cascade of green hues complemented by vibrant blues and natural tones. The green and white floor tile is fun and surrounds the center of the store, which is a large wrap-around counter that includes the checkout, planting station, and a bar to grab a beverage—not currently offered during a pandemic. The plant mural is whimsy and lighthearted. The materials throughout the space feel luxurious but manage while not overshadow the product.
A dimensional wall focal of planting tools provides a playful way to build excitement around everyday items like garden gloves and shovels. A propagation wall of cuttings in mini vases with water shows the customer it’s just that easy to make a baby plant yourself.
There’s a wash station and lounge for relaxation that all seem to have the same calming yet inspiring presence in the store. There was a content studio and lots of “display only” products, which were easily the best-looking plants in the store. Though nice to look at, it was a little disappointing the best plants in the space were not available for purchase.
I settled on a couple of new plants and picked my pots for planting. As the associate started to ring me up, I mentioned I had a gift card. She responded nicely, “I’m sorry, but we don’t take those in this store. Our system just can’t accept them.” When I asked why she simply said, “Well, this is more of a pop-up location, and they aren’t connected.” I went ahead and made my purchase, but can we all just collectively say, “Um, WHAT?”
Moving from direct-to-consumer to brick-and-mortar is a challenge, and it’s clear in the five months it took for this store to open, operations may not have been figured out, but this is a miss from the customer journey perspective. The brand is the brand, wholly connected in the shopper’s mind, and the disconnect is not favorable. A physical store experience impacts e-commerce and vice versa, even if it’s a temporary location. To not have the two seamlessly integrated has potential implications, especially for a brand that is so heavy in creating content for social media, showcasing this inviting and beautiful new experience, and driving traffic to their site.
Of course, I’ll still visit and love the store experience; it’s a welcome addition to the neighborhood and a great way to spend the afternoon. As DTC brands look at building their physical footprint—temporary, pop-up, or permanent stores—be sure to think about the customer journey as a whole and how it’s connected to what you’re already doing so well online, don’t forget to bring that into the store too. Your shopper expects it.
Digging the green retail vibe? Check out our recent insights article Gen Z: Retail’s New Conscious Consumers where we explore the drivers motivating this youthful generation.