Some retailers have even debuted high-tech, high-concept stores that you have to see to believe.While there has been much talk of what the store of the future may look like, several forward-looking retailers have advanced beyond the idea stage. As Quartz shares, some have even debuted high-tech, high-concept stores that you have to see to believe.
Take for example the giant new Nike store that opened up in New York last year. This isn’t your average run-of-the-mill sneaker shop that features the company’s signature workout gear, but rather a retail store that crosses the line into an experience in and of itself. While there’s plenty of products in store for consumers to get their hands on, there’s also a mini indoor basketball court, a small soccer enclosure, and a treadmill that simulates runs in a number of different spots via monitors.
“We built this store with the idea of serving consumers one-to-one in ways that we haven’t,” said Heidi O’Neill, president of Nike’s direct-to-consumer business.
Nike is not the only retailer in the competitive workout gear space that’s embracing futuristic stores either. Adidas has opened up its own massive store in Manhattan that features a patch of turf for customers to test shoes, as well as a sports-themed layout that includes locker rooms that double as dressing rooms. Under Armour also has plans for a new flagship in NYC, and you can bet that they’ll be following the lead to implement an experience-focused element.
Over in Boston, Ministry of Supply is taking the concept of on-demand shopping to a whole new level in its flagship store. The retailer has permanently installed a high-end 3D-knitter that can customize products for shoppers on site.
“These stores transform into places where you go to learn more about the brand, to help create your product, to understand who is behind the product, to connect with the person who your online inquiry was answered by. They become much more beacons of the brand, and much less just transactional retail machine,” explained Ministry of Supply’s cofounder Aman Advani during a recent interview.
While 3D-based technology is thought to be the wave of the future for product customization and rapid order fulfillment, there’s also something to be said for the personalization that can only be offered by human craftsmanship. That’s what Coach had in mind for its new flagship store in NYC. An area of the store is dedicated to made-to-order handbags, and there’s even a second-floor workshop that features a full-time craftsman plying his wares for shoppers.
These are just some of the exciting changes that are being embraced by proactive retailers, and you can bet we haven’t even scratched the surface on what’s possible. The future looks awfully exciting for the world of retail, and we seem to be getting closer to that reality every day.
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18 APRIL 2017, USA