New York City is the gold standard for retail in North America. Toronto, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, etc. all have very strong retail presences, but they are nothing compared to New York.
The JCWG team recently visited NYC for the NRF Big Show. The following highlights some of our favorite retail.
Google Store Chelsea
The Google Store in Chelsea was a JCWG favourite from this trip. The store far exceeded expectations (even though they were high to begin with). There are numerous “rooms” in the store that host various Google products for different parts of your day.
- A room that simulates a subway car to showcase their on-the-go products (phone and headphones).
- A living room to demonstrate the home products (TV, Google Home and other smart home products).
- A “dark room” to showcase the Google Pixel phones’ camera capabilities in low light, macro lens, etc.
This concept was so impressive and such a strong example of creating a retail ecosystem, it had our associates ready to switch over from our Apple products (associates know this, and encourage comparing the two when in store, they have that much confidence in the products).
The Lucid Studio, located in the Meatpacking District, was an impressive showroom. The space hosted a full vehicle, a chassis, a display of the motors, and a space to sit in a virtual car with VR goggles to try different interior options for the vehicle. The space has what we are calling “experience associates”, since upon our arrival, they informed us that not only are they not able to sell us any vehicles, but they are not even able to discuss anything regarding pricing. This is a great example of a retail experience centre rather than a store and creates excitement and marketing for the brand.
The Starbucks Roastery
There are 6 Starbucks Roasteries in the world, and the Meatpacking District location did not disappoint. This concept sets a high standard for experiential retail foodservice. The space targets all 5 senses thanks to the incredible smell of the coffee being roasted on sight. The visual merchandising is spectacular, hosts exclusive merchandise, and exclusive coffees only available there. The experience is entirely unique, and appeared to be a common meeting space for locals, something that the Starbucks near home (Toronto) seem to have lost over the past years.
R13 denim was on our list because of their innovative visual merchandising, which also adds to the staff efficiency. Instead of having traditional clothing racks, shelving, etc., they have large screens surrounding the clothing. These screens show styling of the clothing that is found on the rack behind the screens. This is a great way to eliminate the need for mannequins, and can be updated much faster, even from a central location.
Work Café by Santander
This concept, located in Williamsburg, really caught out eye for its unique concept. The Work Café is a workshare and meeting rooms run by the bank Santander, but the innovative part isit’s completely free! There is a Santander ATM located on the premises, and there is the opportunity to book an appointment with representatives from their bank for loans, mortgages, etc., but there is no requirement to even be a Santander customer. The space also has a coffee shop, but again, there is no requirement to purchase anything to work there. This is a great marketing initiative, and proves that running, renting, and operating a workshare is worth being top of mind with your customer.
At JCWG, we have always been supporters for brick-and-mortar retail to facilitate experience, engagement, and even efficiency. Though online retail crept up in market share during COVID, these stores (and many more), solidified our opinion that physical retail, no matter how impressive metaverse/web-3 innovations get, the physical space is here to stay!
Reach out to JCWG for how to make sure your brick-and-mortar retail presence remains relevant, and seamlessly integrates into your overall retail strategy.
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