image via Footwear Plus / Source: Timberland Debuts Experiential Store Format | Footwear Plus Magazine
Big box retail is succumbing to online platforms and the growing trend of millennials who have chosen to shop local more often. As a point of reference here in Memphis several malls have already been torn down and local districts for dining and retail are growing. As an example of the effect on dining, we have a thriving local restaurant scene, but restaurants like Ruby Tuesday are folding in Memphis.
On Friday nights in Memphis, twice a month there are artwalks and small business nights out that showcase small retail shops. During these “nights out” businesses offer tastings from our local brewing companies, wine and finger foods for customers who patronize the shops and to those people walking by. The shopping experience has become personalized.
This has been the trend with many sneaker shops as well. The stores are becoming more like art galleries with releases being curated and displayed with museum influenced layouts.
Timberland seems to have taken notice and is working on their new experience based store layout. It’s a smart move for a big brand. It’s a move that all big brands need to consider as retail begins to shift and become more about the customer visit experience. People can buy what they want online without any problems, but to get people in the stores there have to be themes and stores will have to become curators of style and culture.
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