NY City Retail Tour: Reinvention, innovation and inspiration

Mark A. Carlson


Branded environments are diverse, reason-driven and continually evolving. They also are foundational to our financial system and modern society. Heck, even the metaverse wants brick & mortar merchants.

And they fascinate us at Miller Zell.

That’s why we routinely host retail tours for clients, most not too long ago in New York Metropolis, in which we sought out the spark of reinvention, innovation and inspiration.

Our curated tour stops weren’t solely centered only on the newest, shiniest pennies. They also symbolize a large array of retail environments that are related to our purchasers and share a single trait in popular: prioritizing consumer expertise.

Alongside the way, we observed factors our consumers shouldn’t do. But we gathered plenty of strong takeaways, including those focused on the advantages of:

  • Products bundling
  • Suggestive advertising
  • Digital integration
  • Products elevation
  • Expressing abilities
  • Solutions providing



REI Flagship

The 39,000-sq.-foot, three-stage REI Flagship on Lafayette Avenue is an architecturally important developing in SoHo. The old-college feel of it supports the REI manufacturer, which communicates veteran skills that can provide equally the expert and beginner outside individual.

REI usually takes delight in its repair/consulting companies — biking? ski/snowboard? camping? — and pairing those with legitimate know-how, bundling products and solutions for outdoor adventures with SMEs who fulfill buyers at “genius-like” specialty bars with a roll-up-their-sleeves, customized knowledge. They can capably prescribe a products for an skilled rock climber with a specific need to have or outfit a newbie for a first-at any time household camping trip.

What’s essential for a retailer like REI? Fantastic, educated associates furnishing actionable assistance and information, who then are supported by a retail store natural environment that promotes and augments all those solutions.



Dyson Demo Retailer

Dyson only has five standalone stores, so its Demo Store on 5th Avenue practically features as a headquarters. Its objective is easy: celebrate the brand’s mix of “art-additionally-science-in addition-engineering” strategy and display why its merchandise are the very best at what they do.

And though several would at first establish Dyson as a maker of large-tech vacuums, their hottest new presenting at the Demo Keep — hair styling — highlights their trending merchandise: Dyson Airwrap™ stylers and Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryers.

“Hero Agents” play a twin role of in-retailer associates and hosts for on line chats. They show items and aid omnichannel buys — even providing complimentary present wrapping.

The takeaway from a Dyson Demo Retailer is how Dyson products and solutions function, and Dyson is confident that understanding will elevate its solutions in the marketplace, maximize revenue and develop manufacturer loyalty.



Nike Flagship

The Nike Flagship keep on 5th Avenue celebrates alone as “The Property of Innovation,” and the “Ultimate Nike Retail store,” 1 that provides “a peek at the rear of the curtain of Nike innovation.”

The keep offers a juice bar for users — also absolutely free with purchases — a customization house that enables prospects to personalize items, a flooring featuring Nike “experts” who can give guidance on “all points activity and style” and self-checkout.

It’s an immersive practical experience that will verify a lot of packing containers for all those who presently are model advocates. It also will satisfy those who want to look through for an prolonged period, as nicely as provide mission-pushed customers trying to get certain solutions for order.



Nordstrom Nearby West Village

This is a reinvention of a Nordstrom “store” as a brand ambassador that prospects with expert services, not on-web-site gross sales. Its product sales emphasis is on BOPIS or curbside pickup, like an old Sears Roebuck store’s pickup, only reimagined for the 21st century.

It delivers tailoring/alterations, expedited returns — its possess and other on line stores — and style guidance. It also, notably, facilitates clothing donations, thus tangibly serving its group.

Further, it is verified adaptable when experiments really don’t operate, these as when an on-web-site shoe cobbler provider was removed for the reason that it didn’t get substantially traction with clients.



Google Store

What could display the benefit of brick & mortar much more than a shop made by the enterprise that built its international name as an world wide web look for motor?

The Google Retail store in Chelsea, which opened in the summer time of 2021, is all about arms-on product activities. It provides prospects a prospect to “Experience all components produced by Google — Pixel, Nest, Stadia, Fitbit, Pixelbook — arms-on and in‑action, and see how all our products and solutions appear jointly.”

The expectation is that if customers enter an immersive Google knowledge, this kind of as witnessing the helpfulness of Nest products and solutions in a simulated residing space, they will be received around.

In sum, this retail store strategically delivers item demonstrations of digital integration that ultimately come to be alternatives providing to customers.

Further, Google views this, its 1st retail outlet, as a examination circumstance, as it eagerly solicits consumer suggestions to boost the in general knowledge.




Lucid Motors flagship “store” in the Meatpacking District is not about providing its new EV vehicles. In reality, it can’t provide out of this locale.

This showroom is about developing the model as an upscale competitor to Tesla, as an EV that upgrades driving overall performance and impressive technologies. The thought is that prospects who see, find out about and experience what Lucid is supplying in terms of innovation, engineering and finish-to-finish knowledge will quickly covet the new model in what figures to be an intensely aggressive market place likely ahead.

Whereupon they can use the available technologies — in-shop or on line at-home — to customize and then purchase a new motor vehicle for shipping and delivery.



Bed Tub & Further than Flagship

The two-degree, 92,000-square-foot retailer in Chelsea reinvents Mattress Tub & Beyond’s previously merchandise-overflowing retail outlet layouts with improved sightlines, wayfaring and experiences, though also attempting to far better fuse digital and physical retail journeys.

The aisles are broader, basic retail store maps evidently converse on SEG (silicon edge graphics), and model shows/vignettes crack up website traffic designs and aid suggestive providing.

The retail store offers a assortment of merchandising encounters, organized by home, and shop-inside-a-shop partnerships, such as just one with Casper. A “simplehuman” space for an in-household brand at the leading of the escalator feels distinct and properly-executed.

Shoppers also can use the Mattress Bath & Beyond mobile application in-shop for navigation and solution details as nicely as a “scan-and-buy” option that enables shoppers to bypass the checkout line.

These updates are client-centric and experiential, supplying shoppers fingers-on curated alternatives and better simplicity with digital integration.



Reddy Store (Petco)

Petco’s “Reddy Shop” on Prince Street in SoHo is billed as a “downtown boutique where by you can shop the freshest Reddy manner and discover new ordeals together” with your animals.

It combines higher-stop pet equipment with a pledge to target on sustainability (“85% of our types are established with plastic from recycled bottles.”).

There are also localization and curated expert services — cost-free “pup cups” — that are geared towards creating loyal, repeat customers. (In fact, our staff obtained a passionate, on-the-location testimonial from a client).

This Petco sub-manufacturer supplies a very well-acknowledged retailer a diverse touchpoint for purchaser interaction and screening items.

And, finally….




The Protein Bakery

Our tours don’t only emphasis on substantial countrywide shops. The Protein Bakery, an owner-operated modest enterprise on West 19th Street, received our crew more than, and not just because of its delectable — and wholesome! — sweets.

This is a great-on the lookout room, with consumer testimonies on the partitions and an suave style that puts the emphasis on the goods and the folks. It aspires to be “warm, inviting and buzzing with clean energy” and it succeeds.

In other terms, retail reinvention, innovation and inspiration come in many sorts, but the intention is the exact: happy, faithful shoppers who become manufacturer advocates.

Disclaimer: These pictures are being  utilised for beneath the Copyright Act for “fair use” for uses this kind of as criticism, comment, news reporting, educating, scholarship, education and learning and exploration. All credit history goes to the respective corporations, websites and photographers. 


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