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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Quote of the Day:  Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.”—Kate McManus, VP of Marketing, Delicato Family Wines (Wine Spectator)

Young consumers are “killing the shopping spree.” Whether they’re signing up for the growing number of clothing subscription services (Rent the Runway, Le Tote, Urban Outfitters, etc.), shopping second-hand, or just culling their closets—young shoppers are quitting fast fashion in droves. Some are inspired by Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking brand of minimalism, while others want to help the environment—and still others are just seeking a wide range of things to wear at a lower price. (Vice)

Airbnb is launching “adventures” for experience-seeking young travelers. The site that started with accommodations and moved into one-off “experiences” (like dinner parties) now offers multi-day excursions, complete with guides, gear, meals, and accommodations. The platform already features over 200 trips in 40 countries, including a tiger-tracking expedition in Kenya and a trek through the canyons of Oman. (Fast Company)

Tyson Foods is taking on the fake meat market with plant-based nuggets. The pea protein nuggets are the first in a line of “Raised & Rooted” products from Tyson Foods. The brand's CEO explains they’re catering to the “growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein”—aka young flexitarians, not full-time vegans. But can a company known for its meat sell the idea that “this [trend] is about ‘and’—not ‘or’”? (The Verge)

Snapchatters can shop Levi’s new Pride Month jacket via selfie filter. The Shoppable feature is first enabled by scanning a QR code found at select stores or by getting a special Snapcode from a friend. Then, users can try on the special-edition trucker jacket via augmented reality, customizing it with one of two washes and a selection of six pins and patches. Once they complete the look, users can purchase the Pride Month Jacket—without ever leaving the app. (SJ)

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition revamps the original. The new smart speakertakes many cues from the adult version’s second generation (it’s louder and rounder) but adds special features just for kids that go beyond a rainbow-striped color scheme. The device will come with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that includes popular Alexa skills like Pinkfong’s Baby Shark Adventures, as well as an enhanced parental control suite to address growing privacy concerns. (VarietyCNET)

Quote of the Day: “Young people still have an incredible interest in the Olympic Games…But the way they are consuming the Olympic Games—the type of content they are watching and the ways and the platforms on which they are watching—are fundamentally changing.”—Kit McConnell, Sports Director, International Olympic Committee (Bloomberg)

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