Story: Editorial Comes to Life at Retailhttps://www.chutegerdeman.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/ThisIsStory-FeaturedImage.jpg800542Chute GerdemanChute Gerdemanhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/27b8b1d5d4480e694e1d763231b8e868?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Imagine yourself walking into the pages of a magazine.
Three years ago that vision inspired the 2,000 sq ft. retail concept Story nestled between Chelsea and the Meatpacking District. Brand consultant and creator Rachel Schechtman has taken editorial principles and applied them to a retail space. Every four to eight weeks, Story completely reinvents itself, from store design and merchandise assortment to floor plan and fixtures, creating a three-dimensional experience for a new point of view. The Story logo and in-store signage even supports the temporary theme positioning with the “O” actually representing two parentheses of which the story featured within changes.
Costing anywhere from $75,000 to $300,000, sponsorships serve as revenue generation for the retail concept. Previous sponsorships include Benjamin Moore’s “Color Story,” which offered merchandise like colorful wireless speakers, bright cashmere socks and lipstick, and General Electric’s “The Making Things Story,” which showcased G.E. products and machines that customers could interact with, like 3-D printers and laser cutters. At the end of each installation Story shares analytics and feedback with sponsors, giving brands a place that they can learn, experiment, and in some cases interact with the customer in a way they couldn’t do otherwise.
“Home for the Holidays” is an annual story, but this year’s partnership with mass retailer Target is what made it unique from the previous. The partnership began when up Target executives, including new Target CEO Brian Cornell, showed up unannounced at the most recent installation, Style.Tech. During a conversation with Cornell, Schechtman mentioned that Target was one of her favorite stores. Before leaving Cornell handed her a business card and in exchange Schechtman delivered a proposal—to feature Target in the upcoming “Home for the Holidays” editorial gift guide. It was a prelude to a wonderful partnership that would soon play out.
The setting for the scene of this Home for the Holidays story takes place in an alpine-inspired interior featuring blonde wood fixtures, wooden beams, antler chandeliers, a working fireplace, and the aroma of pine.
Target gave full editorial control to Schechtman letting her curate the product selection and giving her the freedom to tell the Target story. Featured products, Sonia Kashuk, Nate Berkus, Archer Farms, TOMS for Target, Faribault for Target, and more, are merchandised next to the other brands and only identified by a small bullseye sticker.
Each room is organized by gift recipients: Him, Her, Kids, and Everyone; and small product stories are told with bios in the form of gift tags. To further complement the environment of storytelling a digital Perch display allows guests to interact with the product and learn about product details when picked up.
With an ever-changing editorial theme, Story may be onto the next chapter of retail creating a contextually relevant experience. We’re certainly looking forward to seeing what’s in the next issue!