Creating a place where physical and digital meet means creating a retail experience that emotionally connects with consumers. It means not just building a physical store but a fluid environment that supports change. It means creating an editorial story rather than just a store plan; it means adding curators to your visual merchandisers. The future of retail is immersive, content-driven, and editorial-led. Check out the brands crafting a story of innovation.
Design on Rotation
Aiming to attract a new generation of customers, the French apparel brand Lacoste launched a new store concept in one of the hippest, hottest, high-profile areas, Melrose Place. Paying homage to the brand’s rich roots in tennis, the temporary concept was created as a modern take on the country club. With an LA cool retro vibe, the space mimics a classic tennis court with vintage black and white campaign images and the brand’s founder Rene Lacoste. A full-size ping pong table located center store (or center court) brings the whole Country Club aesthetic together.
“As we emerge out of the pandemic, consumers are looking for connectivity and community. I believe we’ll see more of a demand for physical interaction or experiences and cravings for in-person energy.” – Jason Kim, senior vice-president of marketing for Lacoste U.S.A
To launch the concept, the brand hosted a table tennis tournament for celebrities and influencers. Spectators (or shoppers) could browse some of the exclusive collections previously worn by Lacoste athletes, check out Technifibre bags and accessories, or benefit from the complimentary racket stringing station.
While a total ace in innovation, Lacoste plans to do it all over again in six weeks. New assortment, new design, new theme. On par with the brand’s sporting heritage influence, could we see a golf concept next?
If there were ever a brand in tune with its audience, it would be a global beauty authority. Taking three decades of editorial expertise, women’s beauty magazine Allure recently opened its first-ever store in New York City. With a curated assortment of expert-recommended and editor favorites, the space highlights over 150 brands that have been previously featured on the brand’s print and digital pages.
“This space provides an extraordinary opportunity to highlight Allure’s favorite brands and gives shoppers the chance to experience our editors’ picks, including the Best of Beauty Award winners, all in one place.” – Michelle Lee, editor in chief for Allure
Image credit: Allure
Instead of merchandising the store by brand or use, everything is merchandised as if it were ripped right from the pages of the publication. Consumers can shop by headlines like, “The perfect makeup routine to glow (not glisten) all summer long,” featuring shelf products of skin serums and nail polishes.
Embracing a pay-to-play model, Allure offers a fee for product placements. Costs vary depending on if it’s a dedicated section or an editorial wall, but the participating brands benefit from access to analytics, sales profits, and influencer and press awareness.
Aside from content-driven product categorizations, shoppers also can confidently explore the space with AR-assisted tech for makeup try-on and QR code-supported shelves for scanning product information. Taking the experience from purchase to promotion, smart mirrors let influencers and content creators film tutorials or snap selfies. The brand plans to further activate the store with in-store events, tutorials, and masterclasses. They reportedly have as many as 190 planned for the next three months.
Brands that can move from a static store strategy to a more thoughtful programming experience will see promising returns not only in foot traffic but loyalty. It takes a mass retail experience to a place where customers feel the space is inspired by their lives and outfitted for their needs.