The retail landscape is quickly evolving to meet the needs of the Millennials. As their careers progress affording them increased buying power (for avocados, not houses), retailers are racing to proactively exceed this generation’s discerning tastes for authenticity and fun. More succinctly, today’s young adults want an experience from their face-to-face shopping, otherwise they simply buy online.
Retail Is About Experience
For some, this may seem somewhat demanding. But, from a time management perspective, it makes perfect sense. If you do go through the effort of heading out to buy things, making it a good use of a day or few hours by having food, live events or experiences alongside retailing will make the experience worthwhile. Otherwise, you’ll get goods delivered while you’re out living life.
As a result, many retailers are seeking ways to take their physical shops to the next level with better digital signage and redefining value is essential to this equation. What, therefore, are retail spaces offering that you cannot replicate in a digital environment? In a nutshell, it is the experience that is created that will do best in the increasingly competitive retail world.
Retail Concept Stores Work
Many large retailers and designer labels are well experienced in ventures such as the concept store. Nike, Adidas and Ikea are high profile examples of those that create destinations for their customers. More subtle are the collaborations in artsy neighbourhoods that simultaneously offer food and fashion. These environments tend to blend foodie culture within a retail setting without strongly promoting one over another. Some of these ventures can be limited time only and pop-up ventures, or establish themselves permanently as a place to shop, and socialise, and maybe even grab a drink or meal.
High Experience Retail Spaces
For these types of spaces, leasing factories is also increasingly popular. You may legitimately produce your wares here (hello micro-breweries) in addition to offering retail sales. Local, typically high end fashion designers are also known to invite clients into their purpose built workshops that now feature a showroom, in both instances the level of authenticity and experience is high. The goods can be seen to be conceived, produced and purchased in the one location, which conveniently for social media marketing, is a memorable and unique space.
Be Authentic In Stores And Online
Importantly, some concept stores are geared towards generating cultural capital rather than actual sales on the day. As reputation can be difficult to develop and easy to deplete, the fickleness of the millennial is often discussed amongst industry professionals who are trying to get a sense of the customer that revels in change and seeks emerging brands of the world. For this reason, some high-end brands have suffered a hit recently as the ‘made for outlet’ goods story broke in mainstream media. Previously a relatively unknown industry secret, several brand’s reputations for authenticity declined amongst millennials due to the breach of trust from their sacred couture based businesses. Although consumerism ultimately triumphs, it is a timely reminder that millennials seek retailers which stand out, so take steps to do so for the right reasons.
Image from http://www.sketchbookinc.com/filter/rendering/Nike-Concept-Store