by Karen Kritzer
There’s no question of what’s on every retailer's mind: what is the future of "brick and mortar" stores? How can we get customers into our stores and keep them coming back? It’s a hot topic. You can’t pick up a magazine or scroll through social media without reading discussions around this very issue.
The immersive experience always comes to mind as a way to attract customers. Keeping people engaged and offering them a memorable in-store experience is a logical strategy. There are lots of creative examples on the market. You can visit a champagne bar and eat gourmet fair at Pusateri’s while shopping Saks Fifth Avenue in Toronto. If you are in New York City, you can shop for a new polo shirt then go to The Polo Bar, Ralph Lauren’s signature restaurant.
Let's not discount the countless examples of the one-stop shop, where not only can one buy a new wardrobe piece but also pick up dry cleaning, wine and get their hair done while waiting for a prescription to be filled.
What does this mean for a small-scale retailer? How can one apply the basic ideas of this concept?
There may truly be something to the whole immersive experience concept. There is something comforting about being able to grab a hot tea from Starbucks on a rainy day while browsing the aisles of Chapters – usually a few products end up in the hands of customers while doing this.
Arguably, generating interest and traffic into a store is just as valuable as making the sale, as it creates brand awareness and loyal followers.
Karen Kritzeris from Organized & Stylish a freelance visual merchandiser with over 12 years of retail experience.
As a small business owner and freelance visual merchandiser, Karen can relate to the everyday challenges that retailers are faced with. The 12 years of experience she has with various top name brands and small independent retailers allow Karen to create unique action plans that achieve results for her clients.