In a world today where so many retail stores are closing, how do some companies prosper? One solution is creating innovative and creative concept stores that entertain and attract customers. A concept store tries to make shopping an experience by providing more than just the product being sold. They are reshaping the retail industry and allow brands to transform traditional retail spaces into an experience. Here are some of the best examples in different industries:

Fashion:

Levi’s has taken the next step in creating an engaging and experiential store. Their 16,902 square foot concept store located in Times Square turned the typical clothing brand store into a customizable experience. With an entire section dedicated solely to onsite tailors, customers can alter their jeans in any way they want. The ‘Tailor Shop’ does anything from distressing/ repairing jeans to embroidering and decorating. The store also has art from featured New York City artists that customers can use to create a unique pair of jeans. By adding an entire section to the store focused on creating and repairing jeans, Levi’s managed to make their store more than just a space that holds their products. Instead, they allowed made the store an experience that people want to visit and see for themselves in person.

Beauty:

The Glossier store located in NYC also has learned how to make a retail store experience. The store is famous for having large displays of their products and flower decorations that people are eager to photograph. None of the decorations or interior of the store can be seen until customers are inside. People often wait in line for 20 minutes to get a peek inside. When customers enter the store they are welcomed by a representative who guides them through the store. The store is decorated with a large pink tunnel under which many beauty products are on display. The entire store is cashless and there are no lines for cashiers. If a customer wants a product they just insert their card into a machine carried around by the employees and the product is then delivered to them right there in the store. Glossier transformed the typical shopping experience by making it more seamless and enjoyable. By decorating the store with flowers and statues people are intrigued to visit. The store has even become a tourist destination.

Athletics:

The Vans shoes and clothing company created the ‘House of Vans’ that truly is unlike any typical retail store. Besides offering their typical products inside their store, they also have an entire bottom floor with a concrete ramp that customers can skateboard on. The store also offers free lessons for customers at the store. Furthermore, the ‘House of Vans’ store has live music, art, and food all within the store. By offering so many forms of entertainment, the Vans store has also become a tourist destination that people seek out to visit.

Whether it is the product that still attracts customers into stores or an engaging store design, having an interesting concept store is sure to get people interested in visiting. Retail stores need to do more than just sell. Now it is about creating an experience. Customers want to go to stores that are engaging or offer something special. Customers want to feel a connection to their brand in some way. The above examples of concept stores have successfully done just that. Retail is not a dying industry, instead, it is transforming to encompass much more than just the product itself.

Julia Yanowitz, 2019 Summer Intern

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