Why Retailers Should Program Stores Like Galleries

Why Retailers Should Program Stores Like Galleries

Rotating brick-and-mortar displays and experiences give customers continued opportunities for discovery, in a trend from PSFK's Future of Retail report

  • 28 november 2017

In order to keep stores and spaces feeling fresh and exciting and introduce shoppers to the new and the next, retailers and mall operators are programming locations with a rotating selection of brands, products and experiences.

In our latest Future of Retail report, PSFK Labs identifies this trend as Revolving Discovery. To take advantage of this audience-building opportunity, retailers can ensure that displays and fixtures are easily moveable for constant rotation. They should curate cycling displays of new and niche products around a consumer’s lifestyle and offer programming that introduces shoppers to different activities and skills related to the product mix.

Brands, meanwhile, can explore partnerships with other products or services that fulfill a customer’s aspirations or appeal to their aesthetic. By doing so, brands are able to create limited-edition collaborations that tap into multiple lifestyle facets at once and replace long-term marketing campaigns with micro-activations that change the context of engagement throughout the year.

Mark King, President of Adidas Group North America, spoke of the athletic brand’s new approach to physical retail. “If this store was four floors of product, people would come the first time and then not come again. The challenge is that when you come here three months from now, it needs to be constantly changing,” he said.

Underscoring the point, Accenture found that 51% of U.S. consumers are loyal to brands that keep them on the cutting edge by consistently offering the latest products and services (Seeing Beyond the Loyalty Illusion, 2017).

“Ultimately, most of our brand choices are based on how we feel,” said Ben Quesnel, brand marketing lead for technology and innovation at Facebook. “The most important brand purpose is the ability to connect with consumers and share something they’re genuinely interested in, right now and continuously. It’s keeping your brand top-of-mind even when the mind is in a constant state of flux.”

Retailers and brands are already experimenting with the concept. Timberland’s Tree Lab is a retail location in Pennsylvania’s King of Prussia Mall that presents shoe collections as rotating galleries. Customers can come to Tree Lab to enjoy a new product gallery every six weeks, each curated according to a central theme, such as streetwear or feminism. The U.S. footwear and apparel brand’s rotating displays also help build excitement about the next coming attraction.

New York City-based startup Bulletin offers a subscription-based platform that allows digital brands to lease space within the physical retail storefront. Digital brands apply to Bulletin to merchandise their product in the physical store location, and if approved, ship their goods to the location to be sold within five days. Brands pay a monthly fee to sell their products through Bulletin and receive access to a dashboard that provides them with insights about their product sales.

The Future of Retail 2018 outlines how companies can transform their stores into experience centers that extend their supply chain and digital commerce platforms, creating mutual value with a focus on shopper experience. Members can download the report today or all readers can immerse themselves in the findings at our retail sessions on Jan. 17, 2018.

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