In this excerpt from PSFK's 2019 New York Retail Innovation Guide, learn how retailers from Casper to Starbucks are using physical space to create a narrative around their brand, further engaging and entertaining their consumers

In the age of ecommerce, the role of the physical store is changing. Retailers in New York are creating inspirational environments to build shopper confidence and create an emotional connection, with the experience they offer being as important as the good they sell. By injecting theater, storytelling and uniqueness into the physical footprints, the store is positioned as a marketing channel as much as a place to buy.

Retailers are creating inspirational environments to build shopper confidence and create an emotional connection, with the experience they offer being as important as the goods they sell. As detailed in PSFK's recently launched 2019 New York Retail Innovation Guide, here's how five trending retailers are enabling dynamic and memorable retail experiences:

This toy store has been designed as a ‘family experience store’ that combines merchandise, play, and media to recreate the feeling of going to summer camp. Each section of the space is dedicated to a different camp activity, such as arts and crafts or the mess hall, with a curated selection of merchandise. The store hosts events and activities several times a day and aims to serve as a gathering place for families to play and explore together.

Casper Dreamery
The Dreamery is a playful activation that not only promotes Casper mattresses but also positions the company as a sleep brand. The napping lounge invites guests to take a 45-minute nap inside one of its nine sleeping nooks furnished with Casper products.

Gentle Monster
The New York flagship store of Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster is designed to be an immersive experience that evokes the feeling of interstellar travel. A massive media wall entices passersby to look inside, while a series of kinetic sculptures and installations created in collaboration with artists encourage shoppers to engage with the gallery-like space.

Burrow House
The newly opened showroom of high-end direct-to-consumer furniture retailer Burrow reflects another direct-to-consumer brand’s attempt to connect to market by supporting social sharing of its experience: Burrow House visitors are invited to lounge in its screening room and have fun with an interactive GIF-generator that can be linked to their social media channels.

The North Face Prototype
The outdoor retailer’s premium retail concept in Williamsburg serves to engage the local community through an in-store event space that hosts artistic, musical and culinary events. The merchandise has also been curated to reflect the taste and needs of customers in the surrounding area, and will change from month to month, with North Face using heat mapping to further refine which installations and merchandise resonate most with customers.

Starbucks Reserve Roastery
Starbucks’ 23,000-square-foot location in Chelsea is designed to be a high-end, immersive coffee experience. Beans are roasted in house, with Willy Wonka-esque tubes in the ceiling that transport beans from the 30-foot copper roasting silo to the coffee bar.

Experiential storytelling is just one of the ways in which New York retailers are creating memorable experiences in brick and mortar stores. For more trends, download PSFK's 2019 New York Retail Innovation Guide.