5 Brands Turning the Store into an Experience

At a time when it’s getting harder and harder to get Millennials and teens into stores, retailers and brands are experimenting with ways to turn the store into an experience…

Thanks to a convergence of forces (online shopping, changing social currency, shifts in spending) it’s getting harder and harder to get young consumers into stores. According to Ypulse’s holiday shopping survey, over four in ten 13-34-year-olds agree with the statement, “I'll be doing all my holiday shopping online and won't set foot in any stores.” For retailers counting on their foot traffic, that stat is a huge warning sign. Already this holiday season, we’ve seen online shopping overshadow in-store sales: More 13-34-year-olds told us they would be shopping on Cyber Monday than Black Friday this year, and it turns out November 28th 2016 made history as the biggest online sales day ever. Adobe is reporting that Cyber Monday exceeded estimates by 2.6% and hit a record $3.45 billion spent online, beating out Black Friday’s online sales by $110 million.

Earlier this year, we reported that 74% of 13-33-year-olds would rather spend their money on experiences than products. Their experience-focused behavior has become not just a well-known central value of the generation, but a major disruptor for retail centers and brick-and-mortar stores, who in some cases are changing to keep up. In an era when "Cheesecake Factory does as much business as Sears used to do," malls are transforming into amusement parks to adapt to the spending habits of young consumers. According to The Wall Street Journal, many U.S. malls are adding attractions like laser tag, skydiving simulators, and “escape rooms,” that they say are enticing shoppers to spend more money and time at their locations. In some cases, these experiences are replacing…


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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “I think we’re already seeing alcohol lose its health halo. Next, the assumption that alcohol is essential to a good, sophisticated life will fade.”—Joy Manning, Deputy Editor, Edible Communities (Medium)

“The doofus dad” TV stereotype is being remade for role-resisting Millennial parents. Inept at care-taking and almost everything else, the tired stereotype is saying its last “D’Oh!” as The Simpson’s Homer Simpson and Peppa Pig’s Daddy Pig get replaced with a new wave of capable fathers like Bluey’s Bandit. The switch could have a real impact on the way kids understand family life, with one research fellow explaining, “The media reflects reality and also constructs reality.” (SMH)

Apple's new subscription gaming service Arcade will cannibalize its own App Store downloads—and that’s a good thing. Downloads in the App Store are on the decline, despite mobile gaming maintaining popularity and raking in revenue. If Apple can turn Arcade into young gamers’ go-to for mobile play, they’ll be poised for success that could outstrip even Apple TV and Apple Music. (The Motley Fool)

Gen Z music artists are “post-genre.” Mixing several influences into one song has become a way for rising artists to set themselves apart, and thanks to self-upload services like SoundCloud, they don’t need music industry exec’s approval. Meanwhile, the Genreless Generation can curate blended playlists via Spotify to fit moods and occasions rather than “rock” or “pop” and are streaming has also globalized their content consumption, so U.S. genres are no longer a limit. (Vice)

Carl’s Jr. has a CBD-infused burger that costs exactly $4.20. The chain restaurant is giving fast food a Cannabis Infusion, but only at one Denver, Colorado location, and only for one day. The Rocky Mountain High Cheese Burger Delight packs 5 mg of the chemical that won’t get you high. CBD is the trendy ingredient du jour, with 57% of 18-36-year-olds telling us they’re interested in trying it, and the chemical has made its way into everything from lotion to La Croix-like beverages. (LAT)

Axe is challenging masculinity with “bathsculinity.” The brand has been blurring gender lines for the Genreless Generation for years now, and their latest series of YouTube spots is showing that men can take baths, too. They’ve enlisted comedian Lil Rel Howery, who takes bubble baths surrounded by candles in the humorous videos. And they couldn’t be more on-trend: bath time is seeing a surge as a salve for Millennial anxiety. (Marketing Dive)

Quote of the Day: “I think for a cohesive strategy and for really helping to build awareness as well as grow the market size for new things, there's definitely digital and social media. But also, there has to be this in-real-life element.”—Alicia Yoon, Founder, Peach & Lily (YPulse)

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