Future Of Retail: Every Store As Flagship

Future Of Retail: Every Store As Flagship

Retailers are transforming every one of their stores into an immersive experience for shoppers the moment they walk through the front door.

Scott Lachut, PSFK Labs
  • 2 june 2010


This post is part of a PSFK Consulting project aimed at providing insight into the Future of Retail. Every Store As Flagship is one trend of ten that appears in our exploration of how technology and our senses play a role in the retail experience, both in and out of the store, from the perspective of brands, shoppers, retailers and communities.


Retailers are rethinking the ways that they utilize a store’s real estate, moving away from the idea of simply making a sale and focusing instead on the cultivation of an immersive brand experience. As a result, every branch is being re-imagined as a flagship store, incorporating elements of storytelling and entertainment alongside hands-on product demos and interactive displays. These details bring a level of discovery and education to the shopping experience, making every visit feel more like an event than a transaction.


• Give customers a reason to visit the store for reasons other than making a purchase
• Treat customer visits as an opportunity to tell the story of the brand from the moment they walk through the front door
• Enable shoppers to discover new products that they had not previously considered
• Create an environment in which customers are encouraged to try products
• Treat the physical retail space as an educational environment, enhancing the pre and post-purchase experience

Supporting Examples for Every Store As Flagship


Retail Space Re-imagined as Family Entertainment Hub
Disney is embarking on a new plan to re-imagine its retail spaces as entertainment hubs that promote interactive play as opposed to environments that merely exhibit merchandise. The goal is to get children excited about going to their stores by providing branded activities and content that encourage families to remain inside the stores longer or visit more often, with the potential to lead to increased sales down the road.


Bike Shop Encourages a Community of Riders
Lance Armstrong’s Austin based bike shop is designed to be a hub for the cycling life, serving the diverse community at every level of interest from casual riding to fitness and training. Beyond selling and servicing bikes, Mellow Jonnny’s features a coffee shop, as well as showers and bike storage to encourage daily commuting, furthering their mission to get more bicycles on the streets.


Supermarket Design Encourages Interaction and Discovery
Traditionally, supermarkets have organized their products by category, but in an effort to add discovery to the shopping experience, New England chain Stew Leonard’s has chosen to organize their stores by occasion, (an example being a barbeque or birthday party). By doing so, they are curating experiences and upselling new products that customers might not consider. The store also provides entertainment and refreshments along the way; animatronic farm animals kids can play with, flat screens showing live feeds of their own dairy cows, and generous sampling stations.


Furniture Showroom Promotes Familiarity and Surprise
Specifically designed to house the furniture makers Home Collection, the VitraHaus is the latest showroom at the Vitra Campus in Weilam Rhein, Germany. The unusual, stacked building is intended to recreate familiar living settings, while at the same time leaving open the potential for spatial surprises that suggest a labyrinth as shoppers wind their way through the connected showrooms.


Stores Serve as Extension of Brand
Apple has crafted their retail environments to deliver a holistic brand experience. Cleanly designed interiors focus on developing a deeper
connection with customers through hands-on experiences and one-to-one interactions with knowledgeable staff members. To foster and encourage a sense of community, the stores also feature a theater zone to host presentations and workshops that highlight innovation and provide inspiration.


Library Re-imagines Displays For Better Browsing
The main library in Almere, the Netherlands, offers a unique experience for visitors by taking its inspiration from bookshops. The library is designed to function as a both an information destination and community hub. The space is organized into zones and uses an open shelving system to display books cover first, promoting easier browsing. Different seating and lighting combinations are integrated into the design to catering to customers intent on spending longer amounts of time with study or research.

Request your free Copy Of The Future Of Retail Report here.

In just over 80 pages, PSFK Consulting provide an analysis of the Future of Retail. This free report explores a future from the perspective of brands, shoppers, retailers and communities – highlighting how technology and our senses play a role in the retail experience both in and out of the store. It features interviews with senior executives from Ace HotelPolyvoreStarbucks andTarget. The trends identified within this document and the examples used to bring them to life are inspired by innovation from around the globe.


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