NY City Retail Tour: Reinvention, innovation and inspiration

ByRonald A. Hurley

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Branded environments are assorted, intent-pushed and frequently evolving. They also are foundational to our financial system and society. Heck, even the metaverse requires brick & mortar merchants.

And they fascinate us at Miller Zell.

That’s why we frequently host retail tours for clients, most recently in New York Metropolis, where by we sought out the spark of reinvention, innovation and inspiration.

Our curated tour stops weren’t solely centered only on the most recent, shiniest pennies. They also characterize a large selection of retail environments that are appropriate to our clients and share one particular trait in popular: prioritizing buyer knowledge.

Together the way, we observed points our shoppers shouldn’t do. But we collected plenty of stable takeaways, which include those people concentrated on the positive aspects of:

  • Solution bundling
  • Suggestive offering
  • Digital integration
  • Merchandise elevation
  • Expressing abilities
  • Options marketing



REI Flagship

The 39,000-sq.-foot, three-degree REI Flagship on Lafayette Road is an architecturally major making in SoHo. The aged-faculty really feel of it supports the REI manufacturer, which communicates veteran know-how that can serve both of those the knowledgeable and newbie outdoor person.

REI normally takes pleasure in its maintenance/consulting companies — biking? ski/snowboard? camping? — and pairing those with true know-how, bundling items for outdoor adventures with SMEs who meet up with prospects at “genius-like” specialty bars with a roll-up-their-sleeves, personalized encounter. They can capably prescribe a product for an seasoned rock climber with a specific want or outfit a newbie for a to start with-at any time household tenting vacation.

What’s essential for a retail store like REI? Outstanding, knowledgeable associates giving actionable steering and information, who then are supported by a shop ecosystem that promotes and augments individuals methods.



Dyson Demo Shop

Dyson only has five standalone merchants, so its Demo Retail store on 5th Avenue practically capabilities as a headquarters. Its intent is uncomplicated: celebrate the brand’s blend of “art-as well as-science-plus-engineering” method and show why its items are the most effective at what they do.

And whilst a lot of would in the beginning detect Dyson as a maker of higher-tech vacuums, their hottest new supplying at the Demo Retailer — hair styling — highlights their trending products: Dyson Airwrap™ stylers and Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryers.

“Hero Agents” perform a twin function of in-retailer associates and hosts for on line chats. They show products and facilitate omnichannel purchases — even providing complimentary present wrapping.

The takeaway from a Dyson Demo Retailer is how Dyson goods operate, and Dyson is certain that know-how will elevate its goods in the market, maximize sales and establish manufacturer loyalty.



Nike Flagship

The Nike Flagship shop on 5th Avenue celebrates alone as “The Dwelling of Innovation,” and the “Ultimate Nike Store,” just one that features “a peek at the rear of the curtain of Nike innovation.”

The retailer delivers a juice bar for associates — also cost-free with buys — a customization house that makes it possible for buyers to personalize items, a floor that includes Nike “experts” who can present information on “all issues sport and style” and self-checkout.

It is an immersive expertise that will check a large amount of containers for all those who by now are manufacturer advocates. It also will fulfill those who want to search for an extended period of time, as effectively as provide mission-driven clients searching for specific products and solutions for buy.



Nordstrom Regional West Village

This is a reinvention of a Nordstrom “store” as a manufacturer ambassador that potential customers with services, not on-internet site sales. Its sales target is on BOPIS or curbside pickup, like an previous Sears Roebuck store’s pickup, only reimagined for the 21st century.

It features tailoring/alterations, expedited returns — its possess and other online suppliers — and design and style information. It also, notably, facilitates outfits donations, therefore tangibly serving its neighborhood.

Even more, it’s confirmed adaptable when experiments really don’t work, this sort of as when an on-web-site shoe cobbler company was removed simply because it didn’t get significantly traction with shoppers.



Google Retail outlet

What could reveal the price of brick & mortar extra than a retail store designed by the corporation that built its worldwide title as an world-wide-web lookup motor?

The Google Store in Chelsea, which opened in the summer time of 2021, is all about arms-on merchandise ordeals. It presents customers a opportunity to “Experience all components produced by Google — Pixel, Nest, Stadia, Fitbit, Pixelbook — arms-on and in‑action, and see how all our merchandise come jointly.”

The expectation is that if consumers enter an immersive Google working experience, this sort of as witnessing the helpfulness of Nest goods in a simulated dwelling room, they will be won in excess of.

In sum, this shop strategically gives merchandise demonstrations of digital integration that finally come to be methods providing to prospects.

Even further, Google views this, its very first keep, as a check situation, as it eagerly solicits consumer feed-back to make improvements to the overall practical experience.




Lucid Motors flagship “store” in the Meatpacking District is not about promoting its new EV automobiles. In truth, it can not provide out of this place.

This showroom is about establishing the model as an upscale competitor to Tesla, as an EV that updates driving performance and modern engineering. The strategy is that consumers who see, study about and working experience what Lucid is featuring in conditions of innovation, engineering and close-to-finish working experience will instantly covet the new manufacturer in what figures to be an intensely aggressive current market heading ahead.

Whereupon they can use the obtainable engineering — in-retail store or on the web at-home — to personalize and then get a new motor vehicle for shipping.



Mattress Bathtub & Outside of Flagship

The two-amount, 92,000-sq.-foot store in Chelsea reinvents Bed Bath & Beyond’s formerly products-overflowing retail store layouts with improved sightlines, wayfaring and ordeals, although also trying to better fuse digital and actual physical retail journeys.

The aisles are wider, standard shop maps clearly communicate on SEG (silicon edge graphics), and model displays/vignettes split up targeted traffic patterns and guidance suggestive offering.

The keep offers a wide variety of merchandising encounters, structured by area, and shop-in just-a-retailer partnerships, this sort of as a person with Casper. A “simplehuman” home for an in-property manufacturer at the major of the escalator feels distinctive and well-executed.

Customers also can use the Mattress Tub & Beyond cell application in-store for navigation and merchandise information and facts as effectively as a “scan-and-buy” possibility that enables buyers to bypass the checkout line.

These upgrades are shopper-centric and experiential, supplying shoppers arms-on curated alternatives and greater simplicity with digital integration.



Reddy Shop (Petco)

Petco’s “Reddy Shop” on Prince Street in SoHo is billed as a “downtown boutique the place you can store the freshest Reddy fashion and investigate new experiences together” with your animals.

It combines higher-close pet equipment with a pledge to focus on sustainability (“85% of our designs are made with plastic from recycled bottles.”).

There are also localization and curated expert services — free “pup cups” — that are geared towards creating faithful, repeat customers. (In reality, our team acquired a passionate, on-the-spot testimonial from a customer).

This Petco sub-manufacturer provides a properly-acknowledged retailer a distinct touchpoint for buyer conversation and testing products.

And, finally….




The Protein Bakery

Our tours really do not only aim on huge nationwide merchants. The Protein Bakery, an proprietor-operated little organization on West 19th Street, won our team above, and not just due to the fact of its delectable — and healthy! — sweets.

This is a great-searching area, with purchaser testimonials on the partitions and an suave design that puts the aim on the goods and the folks. It aspires to be “warm, inviting and buzzing with new energy” and it succeeds.

In other terms, retail reinvention, innovation and inspiration appear in many sorts, but the purpose is the exact: satisfied, faithful consumers who become manufacturer advocates.

Disclaimer: These photos are being  utilized for underneath the Copyright Act for “fair use” for reasons these types of as criticism, remark, news reporting, training, scholarship, instruction and research. All credit goes to the respective companies, websites and photographers. 


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