The Commercial Inspector | Experiential Retail: A “One-Stop Shop”

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Experiential Retail: A “One-Stop Shop”

 April 28, 2021 |  CRE News, Property Investment |  retail space, building renovation, real estate trends

E-commerce has forced traditional storefronts to find new and innovative ways to keep their customer base. From pop-ups to boutique stores, retailers are doing anything they can to compete with online sales. Now, the shops of yesteryear are getting a major upgrade into the future to tap into people’s sense of adventure as they visit the mall.

Experiential Retail Catching Popularity
Experiential retail started showing up in major centers from Manhattan to Essex, England around 2019. Unlike before where you’d simply go to the store, buy what you want, and return home, now you can shop and test your new sneakers on a basketball court next door or relax with some wine tasting. The purpose of experiential retail is to attract the millennial market who prefers experiences and not just materialistic things. While millennials are the main target audience, experiential retail is really aimed at anyone who does the majority of their shopping online and wants to do more than just browse in a store.

House of Sport
In April of this year, DICK’s Sporting Goods opened up their first massive “House of Sport” in Victor, New York. The 100,000-square-foot store includes a rock wall, batting cages, track, turf field, along with their typical shopping center. Having the different areas attached to the store allows customers to try before they buy, leaving them confident that they made the right choice. There are also up-scale fitting rooms reminiscent of a fashion runway. DICK’s rents out the fields, making the store that much more versatile. With the launch of their first House of Sport being so successful, DICK’s is planning on opening two more in the near future.

Canada Goose
One of the first experiential retail stores to appear, extreme weather outfitter Canada Goose has created a Toronto space that fully immerses shoppers. The store itself doesn’t carry inventory, but customers do have the opportunity to try out certain clothing items in the “Cold Room.” The room drops to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 Celsius) and the walls show scenes of snowy mountain tops. Throughout the store, there are interactive screens displaying all the items Canada Goose has to offer, and you can submit an order at the tap of a button. Dubbed “The Journey,” this store helps show customers why the product is worth the price.

Small Stores Joining In
The new retail experience isn’t exclusive to large chains, and some small shops have even gotten in on the action. Interactive displays in dressing rooms that let you mix and match outfits and virtually try them on are a huge attraction. These displays also help sales associates save time since they no longer need to search for inventory or adjust clothing displays. Events such as concerts, guest appearances, and giveaways can draw in customers and create the perfect photo-op for marketing. The exclusivity that events and new technology provide help the customer feel as though they’re getting a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The Expansion of Experiential Retail
Like most things, 2020 altered the course of experiential retail and how stores can cater to shoppers. While the event aspect is on hold, integrating digital systems is becoming even more popular. This comes with a focus on decreasing the amount of time a person spends in the store looking at merchandise. As traditional retail works to keep up with e-commerce, it’s no surprise that the way we used to shop is quickly becoming outdated. Marketing and technology are combining the old and the new for a unique adventure that’s slowly taking over.

Whether you own a retail, residential, or special-use commercial property, it’s important to have it inspected by a company you can trust. A professional inspector from NPI can give you the information you need to make a quality purchasing decision. Schedule your appointment today!

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