It’s time for something other than clothes hangers and hanging rails, bookshelves and bright cold meat counters.
Of course – as consumers we all have our favorite bookstore, supermarket and fashion store. We go there mostly because it’s convenient for us; it’s either around the corner or on our way to work. Every time we shop we have our very own routine that tells us where to find the products that interest us. But, hand on heart, we could use some change here.
Some years ago Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch gave a perfect example of a radical change in fashion store concepts: loud music, dark atmosphere, intrusive fragrance in the air and half-naked employees made teenagers spend a lot of money on, to be honest, not-so-unique and not-so-special clothes. The American brand stood out against other shops in the mall – but not only because of the interior; it started with massive screens on which moving water is projected or a simulation of a small beach house. Queuing youngsters in front of the shop made the show perfect. Customers of these kind of outstanding shops buy the atmosphere, the experience, the shopping adventure.
What can shops of other sectors learn from that?
Eataly makes it happen: Food shopping on a whole new level. The combination of restaurants, cafés and product aisles brings a wind of change to long-established REWE/LIDL-customers. Mostly Italian products are sold to give an impression of a customer’s last culinary trip to Italy. It’s more like leisure shopping time than a normal (annoying) food shop.
Livraria Cultura in Sao Paulo shakes up the conventional concept of a book store. Instead of long library-style aisles with perfectly arranged books, you can actually read in this book store. Big stairs and cozy chairs give you enough possibilities to relax and look into a book before buying it. Additionally, thanks to a built-in kitchen chefs can present their creations from their latest cookbooks. For the future, the owner plans to integrate a whole restaurant designed for a bookstore.
These examples show: You don’t need to be a concept store to convince with uniqueness.