Intellectual Enrichment and the In-Store Experience

Intellectual Enrichment and the In-Store Experience

Intellectual Enrichment and the In-Store Experience 1440 428 Mary Lynn Waite

72% of consumers say they would like to increase their spending on experiences rather than physical things next year, pointing away from materialism, and a growing demand for real-life experiences. It means more spending on doing things and less spending on having things. Consumers are looking for deeper value. It’s been a common trend for a while. You can consider price, quality, convenience, but really what creates the win is being seen as an educational advisor.

Information is at our fingertips all the time, its what we’ve come to expect, and we’re starting to crave it. The self-acceleration economy is growing with an appetite for intellectual enrichment. It’s those retailers who can translate from just information providers to education and entertainment creators.

Hyundai Card Cooking Library

Everyone knows Hyundai as a car manufacturer, but they’re actually more diverse in South Korea with the development of department stores, and financing through credit cards much like American Express. Part of the company’s mission to go beyond the finance business and create cultural projects, the brand launched the Hyundai Card Cooking Library in Seoul.

Hyundai Card Cooking Library
Hyundai Card Cooking Library

Open to cardholders, this space is all about the culinary experience with a café, a space to hangout and learn, provisions you can buy, cooking tools, and thousands of cookbooks to help you explore what you want to become an expert in. An “ingredient house” showcases over 190 ingredients from well known to rare finds where guests can browse, touch, smell and even sample. There’s also a high-tech kitchen space where members can take classes, enjoy a lecture, watch a demonstration, and entertain a meal with friends.

Hyundai Card Cooking Library
Hyundai Card Cooking Library

The Cooking Library is one of four in series of spaces designed to give members access to inspirational experiences. Other concepts include focus on Travel, Music, and Design.

The Laundress

As young fashion enthusiasts, founders Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd were frustrated with constantly replacing clothing and high dry cleaning bills. The duo set out to create a solution, and developed an eco-friendly line of laundry and home cleaning products. While the specialty products can be found stocked on a handful of retailer’s shelves, they wanted to create a place where they could share their knowledge. Located in New York the 400 sq. foot flagship space, The Laundress, takes something so mundane like laundry and makes it aspirational. Sure, everyone knows you shouldn’t mix your lights and darks, but it’s more than that, it teaches you how to treat your delicates, denims, sportswear, and more.

The Laundress Exterior
The Laundress Interior

Doing laundry might feel like a chore, but the bright, chic boutique complete with a washer and dryer feels like every girl’s dream space. In addition to the basics, they offer tutorials and classes, so you can not only be an expert at your laundry, but also make them last longer, creating less waste and a smaller impact on the environment.

The Laundress Boutique
The Laundress Education Station

Sephora Beauty TIP Stores

As designers we often look to the beauty industry for inspiration and innovation. They’ve mastered merchandising product at a mass level, and continually find ways to stay ahead of consumer trends. As a leader in the market, Sephora has always been successful in this space, specifically with integrating technology into the retail experience. Mostly recently the brand launched its Sephora Beauty TIP stores. The “TIP” in the concept’s name stands for “Teach, Inspire, Play” celebrating the educational component of not only learning, but also finding the product that’s right for you.

Sephora Beauty TIP store
Sephora Beauty TIP store interactive tech

With the goal of blending high-tech innovation with customer service in an experiential way, the first flagship opened in San Francisco. Here, guests can try on make-up (virtually or IRL), explore how to tutorials, and snap and share shoppable selfies. And it’s not just for cosmetics! They also have exploration stations for fragrances and skincare as well. Advancements like a digital “moisture meter” tool help to accurately measure the amount of moisture in the skin to aid in the selection of products. For those that are looking for less of a self-guided experience they can sign up for daily interactive group classes led by Sephora makeup artists.

Sephora Fragrance Station
Sephora Fragrance Station

Over the years the brand has embraced the fact that beauty has become a social experience, and they’re ready to educate and engage with on their terms the next gen of makeup lovers. The Sephora Beauty TIP Stores just reinforce that focus.

Want to read more about how the retail space is evolving to a sense of place? Check out our recent article “Socializing the Store Space.”

Photo Credit: RackedMultivu | Wallpaper

post by Mary Lynn Waite

post by:

Mary Lynn Waite

Mary Lynn has mad skills developing  brands through visual communications. Leading a team of designers with style and enthusiasm that shines through on our most successful projects. Trend spotter and pop-culture enthusiast, she keeps our creative studio alive. You can read more posts from Mary Lynn here >


A collection of insights research and observations across retail, restaurant, c-store and grocery. Helping brands provide a better experience for their customers. Enjoy.

Be the first to know about the latest POV releases. Sign up for The Gist quarterly newsletter.

455 South Ludlow Street
Columbus, OH 43215 USA
+1 614 469 1001
sign up for The Gist quarterly newsletter
Our website uses cookies in order to optimize the experience. By continuing you agree to our use of cookies.
Privacy Policy