The retail industry has typically operated on a ‘build it and they will come’ paradigm, but a combination of factors means this isn’t working like it used to, even in dedicated shopping centres which were always seen as convenience move by collecting retailers all under one roof.
Now, brands are having to go where the consumer is rather than expecting shoppers to come to them.
Here are 3 x retailers doing just that.
Appear [Here] - UK
Not a retailer, but a facilitator helping retailers and brands, Appear [Here] have been described as the airbnb of retail. They help retailers and brands find spaces where their target consumer is most likely to engage with them.
It's easy to see how much this disrupts traditional retail. With this model, brands can now test the return on a physical space much like they can a Facebook ad. They can see real data on how an idea, a retail concept or a campaign launch work in a specific location without being held to ransom by a landlord offering a 3-year lease.
This opens up exciting opportunities for developing more nomadic spatial design concepts, which can bring a marketing idea to life in a deeply experiential way, right in their customers neighbourhood.
Supreme, Chanel, Nike, Netflix and many more well-known brands have partnered with Appear Here to date.
The Future Perfect - NYC + LA
Manhattan based gallery and design store The Future Perfect has a unique way of selling their products and services.
Outside of their showroom spaces in New York and San Francisco, they curate complete homes with an eclectic mix of contemporary products, art and unique one-off pieces all under one roof.
This month sees the second such project go live, located in the Manhattan neighborhood where many of the brands potential clients live. The building, as for their LA location was chosen because of its architectural and ownership backstory. In this case the former residence of British financier Nat Rothschild.
Appointment only viewings for clients and even their designers ensure the spaces can be highly controlled and always looking their best.
For us, the concept eliminates one of the major barriers buyers face. They often don’t have the vision to see the product in context. In this case, the 5 storey brownstone townhouse synonymous with the area helps them see what would work best in this type of building. In many cases it’s probably identical to their own home.
As founder David Alhadeff explains, ‘You can’t put a store inside a residence – Casa Perfect offers the opportunity to see and experience its inventory in a liveable space.’
Lush, Bath Bomb Shop – Tokyo & SXSW
Lush have recently sung the praises of the retail climate in Japan, describing it as being a profitable place to build a retail space year-round. It seems the Japanese consumer still loves to shop in stores.
In January, Lush experimented with a store format entirely dedicated to the Bath Bomb, their most famous product which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Tokyo was the chosen location because apparently 95% of people in Japan would take a bath over a shower.
Lush Harajuku is a space that serves up bathbombs on sushi belts with gallery-like wall displays as a backdrop.
This is one of Lush’s ‘naked’ stores. There is zero plastic packaging which means that with the Lushlabs app, consumers can browse using their phone scanning each bomb to get a product demo, list of ingredients and benefits.
The concept also appeared at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin. It will be interesting to see how the idea works outside of experimental retail environments as it feeds down into their global stores.
SEEN has been compiled this month by our guest-editor and LOVE Creative Director, Russell Ashdown.
Want to say help, ask questions or challenge his cultural knowledge? Get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org