Whether through new in-store services, expert consultations, or immersive merchandising, retailers in New York are giving consumers new reasons to shop in-person. The diversity of approaches that manifest across the city make it the most important hub in the world for anyone looking for inspiration on what’s next in the shopper experience.
Retail Strategies being incubated in this market include:
Store as a Stage – Innovative brands are turning their retail stores and other branded environments into hybrid spaces that can simultaneously host live in-person and remote experiences. These mixed use spaces and content studios look to maximize audience size and experience while offering new types of engagement opportunities regardless of where someone is joining from. Along with equipment and space, brands are also providing the proper training and expertise to set their associates and select influencers up for success, while also amplifying their ability to reach a wider audience.
Specialized Expertise – As a way to add value to the in-person experience and further differentiate their offerings from competitors, many organizations are leaning into specialized expertise and personalized advice. With in-store mobile apps and QR codes now guiding self-discovery, sales associates are able to dedicate their role
Decentralized Point-of-Service – As physical stores adapt to accommodate new modes of shopping and operations, the fixed nature of transactions—checkout, returns, pick-up, order placement etc.—is giving way to a more fluid approach. Mobile and IoT technologies, coupled with more flexible layouts, now enable every aspect of the shopping experience, from try-on and testing to checkout and customer service, to happen anywhere onsite. With flexible transactions activated from anywhere, retailers allow customers to control their experiences and reduce congestion in-store.
Narrative Merchandising – In an effort to appeal to the broader lifestyle of their customers, position their products in relatable contexts and potentially attract new customers, brands are positioning their core inventory alongside complementary products and experiences. These merchandising displays, set up on a rotating basis to continuously provide inspiration, help shoppers envision how products fit into daily life, while creating moments of inspiration and aspiration. Brands are also curating stores with a mix of hyper-local merchandise, tailored to the local consumer market and updated on a regular basis.
Who's leading NYC retail revolution: Google, Bed Bath & Beyond, Allure and more…
Google’s High-Touch NYC Flagship Takes A Show & Tell Approach To Retail
Google recently opened its first permanent physical retail store in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood to evolve electronics retail. The store’s design combines neuroaesthetics, making visitors feel an overall sense of calm while simultaneously telling a story about the company’s dedication to sustainability. From the furniture to the glue in the floors, each material is carefully chosen for its environmental impact, gaining the building a LEED platinum status, the organization’s highest sustainability award.
Bed, Bath & Beyond Unveils Major Revamp Of NYC Flagship
Retail chain Bed, Bath & Beyond has given its 92,000-square-foot Manhattan flagship store a much needed renovation, ushering the location into the forefront of the 21st century omnichannel retail experience. The Bed, Bath, & Beyond app’s “in-store shopping mode” connects the in-person and digital shopping experiences for consumers, and for on- the-go shoppers, the app features a “scan and buy” fulfillment option that allows customers to bypass the checkout lines. Bed, Bath & Beyond publicized their transformation by offering open house style events where consumers can learn about the company’s omnichannel services.
Allure Store Turns The Page On Experiential Retail
To celebrate its 30th anniversary, women’s magazine and global beauty authority Allure is opening an innovative tech-and-editorial-led, experiential brick-and-mortar store on Manhattan’s Lafayette Street. Smart mirrors encourage visitors to take selfies to try products, customize ‘looks’ and leave product reviews, which can then be shared on social media.
Get more insights from in our NYC Retail Innovation Guide
Retailers and brands invest in innovative approaches in NYC that will inform their corporate strategies—and inspire those of us who are lucky enough to immerse ourselves in NYC retail. Each year, innovation research company PSFK develops a guide to the best retail that the city can offer.
The NYC Retail Innovation Guide documents innovation retail experiences in New York City's five boroughs and this year takes a look across the river at New Jersey as well.
Informed by the latest trends research in our PSFK Future of Retail reports, this NYRIW guide offers locals and visitors a fresh and objective overview of the most important stores to visit and experience. Whether you’re visiting New York City or reading this at your desk, we hope that this guide provides you with the right stimulus to help you design tomorrow’s best-in-class retail experiences.