With so much disruption in retail last year, it was difficult to predict how 2019 might shape up for the sector. Now with 70% of the year done and dusted, the mystery is being solved. Although shop closures and challenging trading environments continue to sweep our high streets, we believe those that maintain their physical presence will do so with a smaller, better thought-out portfolio that more precisely meets the needs of the consumer. The reduced quantity of shops will make it easier for retailers to continually analyze their role and inject innovation where required. Here are 4 retailers doing just that, inspiring us with their immersive experiences for the final push of 2019.
PUMA FLAGSHIP, NEW YORK, USA
The New York City Puma flagship store features 18,000 square feet of interactive space, using technology, art and music to engage with customers. At 609 Fifth Avenue, consumers can personalize footwear, apparel and accessories using paints, dips, dyes, patchwork, embroidery, 3D-knitting, laser printing, pinning, material upcycling and many other creative mediums. Shoppers can jump into professional-grade F1 racing simulators and virtually race down the streets of Manhattan or test the latest boots on the simulator that mimics the pitch at San Siro Stadium.
THE PERFUME SHOP, SHEFFIELD, UK
The newly opened The Perfume Shop in Sheffield has adopted an experiential approach aimed at millennial customers. At a central play table, using an interactive perfume wheel with scented sensors, visitors can create a sensory experience through touch and smell. New scents can all be tested through a range of scented funnels attached to iPads with more info about each perfume. In a personalization area, customers can decorate the bottles and add engravings. A chandelier in the store features reused perfume bottles, highlighting a recycling service that gives customers a 10% discount when the bring in an old perfume bottle.
SAMSUNG, LONDON, UK
Samsung’s long-awaited new store at the stylish new shopping centre at Coal Drops Yard in Kings Cross takes experiential to the next level, removing all tills in an attempt to take off the pressure to buy and immerse customers in the product. The space is brimming with interactive features, including a digital graffiti wall, a ‘kitchen of the future’, a travel photography workshop, gaming lounges, co-working spaces, DJ booths, an event space and personalization bars to design your own products.
BABOR FLAGSHIP, FRANKFURT, GERMANY
Beauty brand BABOR has launched a new store concept in Frankfurt created in collaboration with Liganova. Customers are greeted by a well of volcanic rock and handed a warm towel so they can symbolically wash everyday life from their hands. Products can be tested at the Experience Table to get an insight into what BABOR stands for, dedicating the scientific space to the legendary vials which give an essence of the raw creative process. In the back of the store, you will find a lounge area, a room for skin analysis and 5 treatment rooms for professional treatments.