Attracting consumers to physical stores has never been more challenging than it is in the digital age.We’ve seen all kinds of innovative ideas from retailers in their quest to attract consumers to simply walk through the door for as long as there have been retail stores, but attracting consumers to physical stores has never been more challenging than it is in the digital age. The ease and convenience of point and click shopping will not be going away anytime soon, and today’s savvy shoppers always seem to know where they can find a better deal. So what’s a brick-and-mortar store to do? According to the USA Today, some of them have taken to inviting consumers in for a drink.
Urban Outfitters is among the retailers that are at the forefront of this trend. The company’s Brooklyn location, which is known as Space Ninety 8, actually features two bars within the confines of the store. One of the bars is located on the roof of the store, while the other is situated near the men’s department on the third floor. Customers are free to walk around the store with a cocktail in their hand as well. Additional Urban Outfitters stores with bars are located in Austin and Los Angeles.
Other retailers have joined in the fun as well. There’s a Target store in Chicago that has a Starbucks located inside. Among the offerings are the iconic coffee chain’s ‘evenings’ menu, which features wine and beer selections.
Barnes and Noble is taking the concept even a step further. The book chain is already a well-known advocate of having its stores outfitted with cafes, but it has some special plans in the pipeline. This fall, some stores will open that offer full sit-down restaurants that feature - you guessed it - a full complement of alcoholic selections on the menu. The company anticipates the food and beverage concept will make up a significant portion of those location’s sales - as well as increase foot traffic through the store in general.
Shinola, the accessories retailer best known for high-end wristwatches, is teaming up with a DC-based bar owner on a special drink concept that will debut at its store in the area next year. Bridget Russo, the company’s chief marketing officer, hits the nail on the head as to what’s driving the trend of cocktails plus shopping.
"You have to give people a reason to come to the store other than just duplicating what they can buy online," she says.