NY City Retail Tour: Reinvention, innovation and inspiration

ByDavid L. Juliano

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Branded environments are varied, purpose-driven and continuously evolving. They also are foundational to our overall economy and culture. Heck, even the metaverse requires brick & mortar merchants.

And they fascinate us at Miller Zell.

Which is why we frequently host retail excursions for clientele, most just lately in New York Town, in which we sought out the spark of reinvention, innovation and inspiration.

Our curated tour stops weren’t solely targeted only on the newest, shiniest pennies. They also depict a wide array of retail environments that are pertinent to our customers and share 1 trait in typical: prioritizing consumer experience.

Alongside the way, we observed items our clients shouldn’t do. But we collected a great deal of solid takeaways, together with all those centered on the benefits of:

  • Product bundling
  • Suggestive providing
  • Digital integration
  • Products elevation
  • Expressing abilities
  • Methods marketing



REI Flagship

The 39,000-square-foot, 3-amount REI Flagship on Lafayette Street is an architecturally substantial constructing in SoHo. The outdated-college feel of it supports the REI brand, which communicates veteran experience that can provide both the experienced and amateur outside individual.

REI normally takes delight in its restore/consulting providers — biking? ski/snowboard? camping? — and pairing these with correct know-how, bundling goods for outside adventures with SMEs who fulfill clients at “genius-like” specialty bars with a roll-up-their-sleeves, personalized encounter. They can capably prescribe a product for an knowledgeable rock climber with a particular require or outfit a novice for a to start with-ever family camping excursion.

What is important for a retail outlet like REI? Excellent, knowledgeable associates supplying actionable direction and assistance, who then are supported by a retail outlet setting that promotes and augments people options.



Dyson Demo Store

Dyson only has five standalone suppliers, so its Demo Keep on 5th Avenue virtually functions as a headquarters. Its intent is very simple: rejoice the brand’s mixture of “art-furthermore-science-in addition-engineering” solution and show why its products and solutions are the greatest at what they do.

And although numerous would initially establish Dyson as a maker of large-tech vacuums, their most popular new offering at the Demo Keep — hair styling — highlights their trending merchandise: Dyson Airwrap™ stylers and Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryers.

“Hero Agents” participate in a twin job of in-store associates and hosts for online chats. They demonstrate solutions and aid omnichannel purchases — even supplying complimentary reward wrapping.

The takeaway from a Dyson Demo Retail outlet is how Dyson solutions function, and Dyson is persuaded that understanding will elevate its goods in the marketplace, boost sales and create brand loyalty.



Nike Flagship

The Nike Flagship keep on 5th Avenue celebrates alone as “The Residence of Innovation,” and the “Ultimate Nike Store,” just one that presents “a peek at the rear of the curtain of Nike innovation.”

The shop features a juice bar for customers — also free with buys — a customization space that allows shoppers to personalize solutions, a ground featuring Nike “experts” who can deliver information on “all points sport and style” and self-checkout.

It is an immersive encounter that will examine a great deal of containers for those people who presently are brand advocates. It also will fulfill these who want to search for an prolonged period of time, as properly as serve mission-driven consumers seeking certain products and solutions for purchase.



Nordstrom Neighborhood West Village

This is a reinvention of a Nordstrom “store” as a manufacturer ambassador that leads with expert services, not on-web site revenue. Its income concentrate is on BOPIS or curbside pickup, like an aged Sears Roebuck store’s pickup, only reimagined for the 21st century.

It provides tailoring/alterations, expedited returns — its individual and other on the net suppliers — and fashion suggestions. It also, notably, facilitates clothes donations, therefore tangibly serving its community.

Even more, it’s verified adaptable when experiments never function, this kind of as when an on-web site shoe cobbler services was eradicated for the reason that it did not get a great deal traction with clients.



Google Shop

What could exhibit the price of brick & mortar additional than a shop created by the company that made its global title as an net research motor?

The Google Shop in Chelsea, which opened in the summer time of 2021, is all about hands-on solution ordeals. It provides consumers a probability to “Experience all components created by Google — Pixel, Nest, Stadia, Fitbit, Pixelbook — palms-on and in‑action, and see how all our goods appear jointly.”

The expectation is that if consumers enter an immersive Google working experience, these as witnessing the helpfulness of Nest products in a simulated dwelling place, they will be won more than.

In sum, this keep strategically offers product or service demonstrations of digital integration that in the end develop into remedies providing to customers.

Even more, Google views this, its first retail store, as a take a look at scenario, as it eagerly solicits customer responses to enhance the total encounter.




Lucid Motors flagship “store” in the Meatpacking District is not about selling its new EV vehicles. In reality, it cannot provide out of this site.

This showroom is about developing the brand as an upscale competitor to Tesla, as an EV that updates driving functionality and modern engineering. The notion is that customers who see, study about and experience what Lucid is offering in terms of innovation, engineering and finish-to-stop working experience will immediately covet the new manufacturer in what figures to be an intensely aggressive marketplace going forward.

Whereupon they can use the offered technological know-how — in-store or on-line at-dwelling — to customise and then purchase a new auto for delivery.



Bed Bath & Over and above Flagship

The two-stage, 92,000-sq.-foot keep in Chelsea reinvents Mattress Tub & Beyond’s previously products and solutions-overflowing store layouts with improved sightlines, wayfaring and experiences, while also making an attempt to superior fuse digital and actual physical retail journeys.

The aisles are broader, essential store maps obviously connect on SEG (silicon edge graphics), and brand displays/vignettes break up visitors styles and aid suggestive providing.

The shop presents a wide variety of merchandising experiences, structured by place, and store-within-a-retail outlet partnerships, such as a person with Casper. A “simplehuman” home for an in-house brand name at the top of the escalator feels unique and well-executed.

Consumers also can use the Mattress Tub & Past cellular app in-shop for navigation and products details as nicely as a “scan-and-buy” possibility that lets shoppers to bypass the checkout line.

These updates are purchaser-centric and experiential, delivering shoppers hands-on curated alternatives and greater simplicity with electronic integration.



Reddy Shop (Petco)

Petco’s “Reddy Shop” on Prince Street in SoHo is billed as a “downtown boutique the place you can store the freshest Reddy style and examine new ordeals together” with your animals.

It brings together superior-conclude pet gear with a pledge to concentrate on sustainability (“85% of our layouts are designed with plastic from recycled bottles.”).

There are also localization and curated companies — cost-free “pup cups” — that are geared towards producing loyal, repeat buyers. (In actuality, our group received a passionate, on-the-spot testimonial from a buyer).

This Petco sub-brand name offers a perfectly-acknowledged retailer a various touchpoint for shopper conversation and testing solutions.

And, finally….




The Protein Bakery

Our excursions do not only aim on huge national retailers. The Protein Bakery, an owner-operated small enterprise on West 19th Avenue, received our crew about, and not just because of its delectable — and wholesome! — sweets.

This is a superb-searching space, with purchaser testimonies on the partitions and an artful style and design that puts the focus on the solutions and the people today. It aspires to be “warm, inviting and buzzing with refreshing energy” and it succeeds.

In other text, retail reinvention, innovation and inspiration arrive in many kinds, but the target is the very same: pleased, faithful clients who turn out to be brand name advocates.

Disclaimer: These pics are being  applied for underneath the Copyright Act for “fair use” for uses these kinds of as criticism, remark, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and learning and study. All credit goes to the respective organizations, sites and photographers. 


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