Focus on Experience.
Retail, today, is constantly running far away from that kind of store from the past, the one we used to go to as children, those in which you just went into and bought something off the shelves. Today “online shopping” means high competition, convenience and wide choice, that’s why many specialty retailers choose to focus on “experience” as the base of their retailing, in order to stand out and be different. It’s the age of “new gen retail” and companies are planning to develop the next generation store concepts, able to melt physical and digital contents in an engaging retail environment.
Some examples: Microsoft has just opened in Arizona its very first consumer retail store.
That’s the company’s first attempt at engaging directly with consumers in a Microsoft controlled environment (and to compete with Apple’s successful stores).
Then again, HMV has just opened its first movie theatre right above the London store, providing a mix of entertainment across film and music, with latest digital technology.
The cinema can also be used for interactive gaming and other community events.
Last but not least comes Disney which following Steve Jobs’s suggestion to “dream bigger”, is planning a significant renovation rebranding its stores as “Imagination Parks”, miniature interactive theme parks. Disney’s goal is to turn the purchase into a more exciting and memorable experience for children and “big kids” too. Disney’s plan is to completely refit its 340 stores all over US and Europe, plus a new flagship store in Times Square, NY. So we have to wait till may 2010 to enjoy the first new-look 'Imagination Parks', in Southern California, Long Island and Madrid.