These seven leading brands have designed their physical stores to provide immersive shopping environments that engage shoppers at every touchpoint

Some critics perceive digitalization as an imminent threat to physical retail. The internet, with its near-instant efficiency and reach, has proven itself a fierce competitor to traditional brick and mortar. Yet one advantage remains that consumers can't yet access from their mobile devices: the immersive store experience.

Using this to their advantage, innovative retailers are creating engaging, multi-layered sensory environments that offer customers playful and entertaining opportunities to engage in the brand’s narrative and connect with the community at large. From PSFK's Store Experience Design Debrief, here is how seven brands have curated physical spaces to engage shoppers in captivating and immersive experiences:

Esports Arena x Walmart
Esports Arena is North America’s first dedicated esports facility intended to host esport tournaments and events. It plans to open five arenas, each situated in Walmart stores, all of which are equipped with the retailer’s new line of gaming PCs. The arenas will host league nights during the weekdays and tournaments on the weekend.

306 Yonge Jordan Store
Sportswear retailer Nike opened a three-level space in Toronto dedicated to its iconic Air Jordan sneakers. The store is equipped with LED and AV capabilities throughout the space, and offers an underground kids-only concourse and athletic training facility complete with a gym and locker room.

Foot Locker Power Store
Sportswear retailer Foot Locker opened its first North American “Power Store” just outside of Detroit, Michigan, focused on creating immersive brand connections that are centered around local sneaker culture, art, music and sports. The space includes an “activation space” for events, ranging from rap concerts to talent shows to panel discussions.

Chanel Beauty Wonderland
Luxury retailer Chanel launched a new beauty retail concept in New York: Atelier Beauté Chanel, which invites fans to play and explore new beauty products through interactive experiences. The retail concept offers makeup lessons with the brand’s artist-in-residence, a skincare bar that includes skin consultation and a perfume room where customers can blindly sniff fragrances.

Glossier
Direct-to-consumer beauty brand Glossier envisions its two-story New York flagship store as the ultimate physical expression of the brand, with a millennial pink interior and red winding staircase leading up to the showroom. The space features a “wet bar” where customers can test out products as if they are in the comfort of their own home, as well as a playful room filled with giant tubes of its famous Boy Brow product.

Burrow House
The showroom of high-end direct-to-consumer furniture retailer Burrow invites visitors to watch movies in its screening room and have fun with an interactive GIF-generator that can be linked to their social media channels.

BarkPark
Pet subscription service Barkbox opened its first BarkPark in Nashville, Tennessee, a members-only outdoor clubhouse for dogs and their owners. The park features a green space for dogs to play, with access to toys and treats, as well as plush seating, coffee and wifi for owners.

Brand playgrounds help heighten engagement and enable delightful discovery with the curated experiences, products and services that can be found within them. For the full list of recent innovations in physical retail, download PSFK's Store Experience Design Debrief here.

Some critics perceive digitalization as an imminent threat to physical retail. The internet, with its near-instant efficiency and reach, has proven itself a fierce competitor to traditional brick and mortar. Yet one advantage remains that consumers can't yet access from their mobile devices: the immersive store experience.

Using this to their advantage, innovative retailers are creating engaging, multi-layered sensory environments that offer customers playful and entertaining opportunities to engage in the brand’s narrative and connect with the community at large. From PSFK's Store Experience Design Debrief, here is how seven brands have curated physical spaces to engage shoppers in captivating and immersive experiences: