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Showrooms, Flagships, and the Future of Destination Shops

Retail may have suffered a blow during the harshest times of the pandemic, but as we emerge in various stages around North America, people are heading back to stores, salons, restaurants, theaters, and malls. But are they shopping the way that they used to? A significant shift to e-commerce is not the only drastic change to consumer behavior that retailers are now facing. As people go back to the real world, another trend is emerging and that’s the destination shop. We’re talking about new flashy flagships, concept stores, showrooms. They’re changing the way we think about store design and channel strategy.

Today’s guest, Retail Insider’s Dustin Fuhs, is going to share his thoughts about the destination shop and what it means for retail brands.

Transcript

Melinda: Hi, I’m Melinda and you’re listening to Think Retail.

Retail may have suffered a blow during the harshest times of the pandemic, but as we emerge in various stages around North America, people are heading back to stores, salons, restaurants, theaters, and malls. But are they shopping the way that they used to? A significant shift to e-commerce is not the only drastic change to consumer behavior that retailers are now facing. As people go back to the real world, another trend is emerging and that’s the destination shop. We’re talking about new flashy flagships, concept stores, showrooms. They’re changing the way we think about store design and channel strategy.

Today’s guest, Retail Insider’s Dustin Fuhs, is going to share his thoughts about the destination shop and what it means for retail brands. Dustin, welcome.

Dustin: Hi. I’m so excited to be here.

Melinda: Thank you so much for being with us. And to start us off, I understand you have some exciting news you’d like to share.

Dustin: Yeah. Up to this point, I was going to be talking about how I’m the Digital Content Manager for Retail Insider. And we’re actually in the process of announcing that I’m actually getting promoted to Co-Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider, which is incredibly exciting to share.

Melinda: That is wonderful. Yeah.

Dustin: It is so much fun. And I can’t wait to have a blast with this new role. It’s basically been a little more than a year of being with Retail Insider. I started as just a digital contractor. And then we started to talk about various things coming in. I started to look after their social media, their e-mail, newsletters. And then, we started to really focus on content because for the last five years, I’ve been running my own trip planning website for Disney and Universal, which was highly successful, and obviously the pandemic was the pandemic. So getting into Retail Insider and being able to draw upon my history and my experience within the retail business and industry, it’s been so much fun to see where things are going. And then with this new chapter, oh, the sky’s the limit. It’ll be so much fun.

Melinda: I’m really excited to see what you do with this new role. It’s wonderful. Congratulations.

Dustin: Thank you.

Melinda: So, the destination shop, why don’t we start off with a definition of the term destination shopping?

Dustin: Sure. So, destination shopping is when shopping is a magnet or a draw, whether it’s a unique store or it’s a clustering of a style of shopping. Think luxury in Yorkville, or when you’re going into, you know, downtown Vancouver, there are areas within that ecosystem, the Robson Street. I also think of it in the Disney sense when you’re going to Walt Disney World, there are destination stores that you just remember that you have to check off your list. And I think there’s an element of retail that brings the tourism and the brick-and-mortar store together. So, people are thinking about going and visiting a destination that they have to see on their vacation or in their day-to-day experience.

The other one that I would put out there is possibly almost like an Eataly, where they have clustered a number of brands together and made it so you can spend an afternoon in that location. It isn’t just a mall. It could be a mall, but the destination is that one location.

Melinda: Right. So even before the pandemic, these high-touch, high-technologies, really big experience-driven flagships, like the Nike Soho store, were really starting to create a lot of excitement for shoppers. What are a couple of your favorites?

Dustin: I love anything that’s high-touch, anything that you can go in and you can actually play. I feel like the idea of going into a store and just seeing a box and realizing what’s inside the box, that’s not fun. That’s not engaging. We’ve seen brands that aren’t even in the entertainment sector focus on the high-touch experiences. And I look at something like Decathlon where they are opening in-store activities where you can try out physical sporting activities, try out the tennis rackets, try out your shoes before you go ahead and buy them.

The Cold Room or various things that Moose Knuckles or Canada Goose have been bringing in, even something like the Dyson store at Yorkdale. When you walk into the store, they’re like, “Here’s a floor but it’s not just a wood floor.” They have all the different floors set up so you can try the Dysons on, the thing that you are focused on. When I was talking with a couple of friends about this experience and obviously talking with Craig Patterson, who is the founder and co-editor-in-chief… No, he’s the real “Retail Insider”. He was mentioning Kit Kat at Yorkdale. And it was so much fun to think about that experience where you go in and you can see what retail is like because you can just go and touch it. And that’s so much fun.

The other one that came up, it’s actually starting to really bring the high-tech experiences, are the Bailey Nelsons of the World that are utilizing 3D technology. Stitch It just opened up a pop-up location at Sherway Gardens where they are bringing 3D technology into the fittings and the various things that they do. There’s a lot of those types of experiences. And obviously, flagships, when you go into those stores, you want to be able to really experience it and not feel like you’re an outsider. And I think that’s where these high-touch experiences can go in and create excitement.

Melinda: Yeah, and you’re invited to play and to join in. You’re a participant rather than a passive audience.

Dustin: Yeah. It was really getting some momentum pre-pandemic. And obviously, you can’t say high-touch during a pandemic because you don’t want to deal with that kind of, like, “Oh, touch this and then hand sanitizer. And then touch this and then hand sanitizer.” But I think there is an element of utilizing technology that could be really interesting.

Melinda: Right. So, I mean, obviously, pandemic aside, if we just sort of talk about our ideal case scenario, of course, technology is a huge part of all these experiences. And, you know, there’s everything from augmented and virtual reality – you’ve got smart mirrors in different fashion stores, massive digital screens that are interactive and responsive. What approach to technology do you think is most successful?

Dustin: I’m a big fan of solving a problem. So if your technology is just there to be technology, it’s going to be obsolete. And that’s what we saw with the Disney stores when they opened in 2011/2012, the new iteration that recently closed. It was called Imagination Park. And when you walked into every store, you had the trees that were elements where they would come alive. You had all of these magical things that needed technology. You actually could go up to one of the mirrors in the castle and put your product up against it and it would showcase a princess, and it would come alive. But here’s the thing. What happens when it breaks?

Technology is all about figuring out where you want to go within the story. And I think within the Disney example, as soon as things started to break, there were no fixes. You can’t go in and fix something that four years ago was state-of-the-art technology and is now considered obsolete. Apple has taught us this. So, it’s amazing to think that the approach to a tech integration is about solving a problem and not just implementing tech for tech. It has to meet a need. It has to do what we need it to do. And if you want to see how certain tech integrations have never been updated, just walk through The Bay or Canadian Tire and look at their POS systems.

There is certain tech that they need to function and other tech that is just there and it is functionable. But I look at this type of approach as what do we want to accomplish? If we want to sell a jacket in Moose Knuckles, which just opened up a location at the Toronto Eaton Centre, how do you showcase it? Well, you put an RFID tag in the jacket itself. You go up to a mirror. It scans the RFID, and all of a sudden, the room changes its destination. So, if you’re getting the most cold of jackets, you want to show that it’s Canadian cold. So the room will change into a pure ice field. But if it’s something that you want that’s just, you know, a little bit lighter, you can scan the jacket and it’ll kind of say, “Oh, this is a lighter jacket.” We see that with a lot of brands – knowing how to utilize their store layout. And I think that’s where technology comes in. I just see too many brands talking about the high-tech and realizing that it doesn’t need to be high-tech. It just needs to be functional.

Melinda: There’s also a temptation, I think, when something cool comes out, and it’s cool and new. And just like the people who are lining up for the newest iPhone, there’s retailers who are lining up for the newest robot greeter. And a robot greeter is good for, like, about six months. If it doesn’t serve a real purpose, say as triaging people and saying, “You go over here. You go over there,” it’s just a novelty. And interesting to see, though, that so many people are really captivated by the stuff, at least initially, and there’s a temptation to invest in these things because you think it’s this cool and exciting thing. But if it doesn’t deal with some sort of, maybe it’s solving a problem or providing some sort of additional service or filling a need, it is going to be obsolete, even if it is cool.

Dustin: Yeah. And look at Indigo. When you go into an Indigo and you see all of their kiosks set up around the store that have computers, and you can go in and see where the books are and see where all of the tracking is for their inventory, is that an obsolete technology knowing that people on their phones have the Amazon app, which includes a UPC scanner? So if you’re in Indigo walking around seeing if they have a book in stock, and it’s more of a hindrance to go and type a thing into a computer, you can bring out your phone and scan a barcode, and it’ll show you what’s in stock on Amazon.

I think there’s an element of technology that people and retailers are forgetting, and it’s that your competition isn’t just in the mall and in the location that you’re at. The competition is in your pocket. Because if someone can’t get that technology to work, they’re going to go somewhere else and find someone who can do it cheaper, easier, and more functionable. And you can spend a lot of time and effort putting together your pickup location in a new design store. But if you don’t have that system set up in the tech side, then you’re almost obsolete. The example for that would be brands that don’t have a Canadian or a location-specific e-commerce. Because if you’re trying to order from different inventories and you’re having them shipped to store, that’s an amazing thing. But is that what people are looking for right now? No. They’re looking for convenience. They’re looking for things to be shipped because Amazon has trained us that that’s what to expect.

Melinda: Yeah. So, on the flip side, there’s also a lot of analog experiences. We touched on this a little bit. I’m thinking of like, you know, the cooking stores and Samsung promoting their smart home by having cooking classes with famous chefs, or Lululemon has got yoga classes, and M.M.LaFleur is hosting events all around female entrepreneurs. What do you think of this strategy? Does it have longevity? Is it kind of a flash in the pan? What do you think?

Dustin: It’s community building. I think that is a strategic decision that was made by the culture of those retailers, and they have implemented it to the fullest extent that they can. And they hire based on culture, and they design experiences based on culture. And that’s exactly where these brands, the Lululemons, the Samsungs… I also look into places like the Chapters where they have the in-store book signings. You have various brands that are out there that have exclusives. I know Plus, for example, they had opened up in the Toronto Eaton Centre. They’re doing a massive expansion right now. Then you have various shoe drops that come in, Nike at Yorkdale. When you walk into some of these brands, you’ll have exclusive things that are only for their individual communities. That’s all part of the business model.

I think the strategy has longevity. We just have to make sure that what is being offered is looked at on the 400,000-foot view going down and seeing whether or not it works and can it be done better? So, when you look at the yoga with Lululemon, is that functional for 2022 and going forward? Is that a high cost based on staffing, which is a bigger issue right now, and then going into the future? And what is the ROI on the space that they are dedicating to those events versus having something that is very low-touch? It’s a fun way going forward.

I look at something like going to Costco and you see all the samplings. And you go to a sporting event, and they’ll have these things where you can just go and experience things, and you can buy based on that experience. You want to be there. RunDisney is another big thing where people will fly to a specific location just to experience it. It’s all part of the business model. And I think it’s going to evolve going into 2022, just based on the post-pandemic world.

Melinda: Right. I mean, I think a lot of these brands are turning this into content strategy. You see Lululemon’s got a lot of free, you know, hour and a half yoga classes taught by really great instructors for free on their website. You have to kind of do a little bit of looking to find them. But a lot of these brands are starting to.

Home Depot is another one that, you know, if you’re a do it yourselfer, they have got so many videos on their website, really in-depth videos that used to be something that maybe you’d go into the store and you’d get that information there. So yeah, it’ll be interesting to see how that transfers to the post-pandemic world.

Dustin: Absolutely.

Melinda: So okay. We talked about, you know, maybe a destination shop or destination area when you’re on vacation or somewhere that, you know, you’ve chosen to go to. There’s some concept stores and the one that’s coming to my mind is Showfields, but there’s a lot of others that are maybe not as big, and they’re really kind of concept stores, not brand stores. Are there any notable examples that you think have staying power? Do you think some of these are going to disappear?

Dustin: Yeah, things definitely have changed over the last 18 months. I’m a big fan of traveling, and then going and checking out all the stores. It’s amazing how many photos I have from various vacations. And I’m like, “I have to get to the airport gift shop because it’s such a cool gift shop.” And I’ve already made the joke of going to, like, the Orlando Premium or the Orlando International Airport MCO, and just to go to their Disney and Universal stores. And I’ll do the exact same thing in New York. I’ll go in, say, “Hey, here’s the arrivals gate. Where’s all the amazing shopping? What’s going on with brands?” Because as soon as you go into some of these airports, I’m like, “Oh, you’re missing it.”

But one of the staying power examples and I was thinking about Toronto. I was also thinking about New York. I was thinking about over in the UK. There are things that I just imagine I want to go and check out. The NHL store that just opened. And I think it’s being run by Fanatics. They moved from Fifth Avenue over to the new district by Gary B’s, you know, out in that area. I think it’s Hudson Yards. I haven’t been to New York in two years. It’s been a long two years. I can’t wait to get back down there. But when we were talking about flagships, I’m like, “Oh, cool, NHL, NBA.” There’s a new Nintendo flagship, the one out there. I keep thinking about Times Square with the Toys R Us flagship that was there. Obviously, the Disney Store flagship. But then there’s also concept stores that are hidden and you have to find them as, you know, looking at something like Dylan’s Candy Bar or in my case, I love sprinkles, The Cupcake Shoppe, and they have an ATM.

Melinda: Oh, what?

Dustin: It’s amazing. You can go to this cupcake store and you’d be like, “Oh, I want a cupcake.” And then you look outside, and you’re, like, there’s an ATM and it dispenses cupcakes.

Melinda: That’s amazing.

Dustin: It’s such a cool thing. And then, obviously, with sprinkles just in case anyone is going to New York or Disney, or wherever, sign up beforehand. They have a birthday program so you can actually get a free cupcake on your birthday. Amazing stuff. Little things. FAO Schwarz over in the UK, Selfridges, Harrods, all these amazing things.

There’s also some branded destination shops that are things like the NBC gift shop in Rockefeller Center where you can go in and they have The Voice chair. And they have individual things that are specifically designed for the various shows like they’ve got Pop Vinyl for all the shows that are being filmed upstairs for “Saturday Night Live.” There’s a lot of things within destinations that could be very interesting. People just have to think outside of their own community and know what their consumers and their customers are experiencing, and then bring that to their own local location. You should always be evolving and always be looking at what other brands and other people are doing because that will make your innovations that much better.

Melinda: Yeah, absolutely. So I mean, brands obviously can’t spend millions and millions of dollars in every single location. So you may have a really cool store like Nike’s House of Innovation, but you can’t do that in every single mall all across the country. And you mentioned to me before we recorded this podcast that you’ve gone to a new Nike store here in Toronto, and can you just tell me about that experience?

Dustin: It was underwhelming, to say the least. I think with the Nike location that we went to, it must have been just the wrong time. You know, we went in during the week. It was probably, at 11:30/noon. We walk in and everyone was like, “Oh, you’re here for the drop.” And I’m like, “What? What? No, I’m here to see the store.” And they’re like, “Oh, well, the drop’s upstairs.” I’m like, “But show me you’re…like, I’m here because this is a flagship. And I want to see what you guys have done, all the technology.” And they’re like, “Yeah, but the drop’s going on upstairs.” I’m like, “Stop with the drop. I’m not here to buy this shoe. I want to see what you guys have in this and this.” And as soon as you basically say that you’re not here for their specific reason, it felt very exclusive but inclusive in the exact same way. You had to be in the know to actually go into this location. And I think what we’ve learned from that experience is that executing consistency is the game. Not every square foot has to make your heart flutter, but you should never feel out of place. You should always feel as though you are welcome to go into a store. And whether or not you are buying or browsing, sometimes it takes 2 to 3, maybe up to 10 times going into a store to have that buying moment of, “Yes, I want this.” And it could be a staffing issue. It could be a stock inventory issue. It could be a pricing thing.

We had the exact same thing happen with me personally with Peloton. We went into the Peloton location on Bloor probably five or six times. It took time and it also took effort to really think, “Is this an investment that we want to go through?” And you ask those questions and you figure out, but you never felt like you were asking a question that was taking away from the time of the sales staff. They were there to help you because it’s a showroom mentality. When we were up at the Nike store, I think that was just one of those things where it was wrong place, wrong time. Maybe we were asking the wrong questions.

There was a lot of staff and there were not a lot of customers, which that can also be a big issue. Because if the staff are focused around their own conversations, I think we’ve all been in a store where you feel like you shouldn’t ask a question because you’re interrupting somebody’s conversations. That happens a lot but back to the dollars and cents, I think when you’re looking at some of these A, B, and C-level stores, the staffing and the product that you bring into some of these stores are what makes it a destination. And we understand not everything is going to be that flagship, but you have to have consistency.

Melinda: Right. I think that’s a really important point. And I think people forget that consistency isn’t just about giving me the same products. It’s about giving me the same feeling. It’s about giving me the same attitude. And there are some brands that have done an amazing job of that. And Sephora, I think, is one. Even in the little tiny pop-ups that are in partnership locations, you still have that same sense of the brand and it’s very clear you’re getting that same experience. It’s harder to deliver that than I think people realize. They think that, you know, you just build it and people will come. But you really have to build that employee engagement piece, bring them into the story that you want to tell, and excite them about it and make them feel some sense of ownership around what they’re doing as well. So maybe you don’t have the same product, maybe you don’t have the same flashy stuff, but you still have to have that same feeling. Apple’s another one that’s really done a really good job of that. It’s like, you know what you’re getting when you go there and you’d be surprised if you didn’t get it, right?

Dustin: Yeah. And then when you walk out, if you didn’t get that experience, you would make that decision in your head to be like, “I think I’m going to go somewhere else.” And that happens more often than brands would like to admit. And I think it does go back to the training aspect and also the expectation that if you’re hiring part-time, seasonal staff, they are there for a specific reason. And you can’t have the buy-in for that individual be as in-depth as someone who has been with the company for 25 years, and they are fully salaried with health benefits and all this other stuff. There’s a different world. And I think when you’re looking at these types of experiences and these flagships, most brands staff with the best of other stores. So, they’ll handpick some of the best performers from various malls and, kind of, bring them together. But then you have to create that ecosystem of whether or not the flagship is that type of an experience. Because if you’re a great salesperson at Bayview Village, can you adapt to the amount of traffic that you’ll get at a Yorkdale or an Eaton Centre? It’s completely different night and day. So that’s a big thing. And then the other thing is just the fact that when you’re going into some of these stores, do you secret shop your own brands?

Melinda: Oh, it’s so important. Yeah.

Dustin: So that’s a fun one that we’ve started to see with the franchises and food restaurants. They’re starting to really figure that out because everyone’s expanding at the same rate. And I know just walking into a store, you can tell whether or not you feel welcome. And even if they put millions of dollars around that storefront, it’s about that feeling when you walk in, and then how you leave is going to be predicated based on that conversation.

Melinda: Yeah. So, I didn’t want to make the whole thing about COVID because it’s so easy these days to go down a rabbit hole with COVID. But I do want to touch on it. I mean, what impact do you think COVID will have long-term on this type of destination shopping?

Dustin: Traffic is the big thing. I think a lot of brands have realized that there are locations that they don’t have to be in to get almost like a billboard. You have brands that are spending a lot of money to be in certain areas. And if you look at the Fifth Avenue in New York or in Toronto, it’s Bloor/Yorkville. And you look and you’re like, “Okay, do I have to be here knowing that there isn’t high traffic? Should I be paying the thousands of dollars per square foot to be in this area,” or, “Can we put that into a different engagement on social media, or reintroduce our client base to a new e-commerce experience? Can we focus on the destination,” which is still important?

Don’t get me wrong. You have to have your flagship because that showcases the level of the brand. But I think a lot of these stores when you go into them in a post-pandemic world, they are going to change. I don’t think you’re going to be seeing the same level of inventory. I think you’re going to be seeing a shift to more of a showcase experience where you go in and you say, “I would like this in this size,” and it’s shipped to you. And because of the same-day shipping deals that some of these brands are talking about, they’re able to have that item basically at your door by the time you get home. There’s that element that I think is going to be very popular.

I still miss the idea of the big destination shops, but I just don’t think they can justify it because they always thought of it as a marketing expense. Like, we have to be here because it seemed to be important. And this location may not increase revenue or actually be revenue positive or neutral. It’ll always cost us money to be here. Do we need to do that going forward? And is it a shift in locations? Look at something like Roots on Bloor. They went from the flagship, which was at where the men’s Holt Renfrew store is right now. It was an amazing shop. They had the Olympic stuff in the back. They had everything. And they moved just down the street. But it was a little bit of a change in demographics, a change in style. And I think that’s going to continuously happen because the brands need to figure out where they are in the marketplace and whether or not a renewal of a lease is worth that kind of price point going in a post-pandemic world.

Melinda: Yeah, I mean, here in Toronto, obviously, they’re saying 70 percent of workers who work in the downtown core are still mostly working from home, and will they come back? It’s still sort of hard to say.

Nordstrom has got these little local shops that they’re very small, a very small footprint, and that people can pick up their orders there. But they also have some product, very little. It’s more about the vibe. And you can get your clothes tailored there. So, they’ve got some of the same services that they’ve got in the big flagships but in this really, really little footprint in a location that they probably would never put a full-size store because they just wouldn’t have the traffic. I think that’s an interesting shift that I suspect we may see a little bit more of.

Dustin: Yeah, IKEA is the same way. They’re starting to do these design stores. And they’ve signed a deal to, basically, have deliveries to the Penguin pickup locations. So incredibly, like, I always thought that it was almost common sense at this point. Why would you spend so much extra money on the delivery aspect of an IKEA order, which could be 60, 80, 100 bucks, where you could have things delivered to a Penguin pickup and then just go from there? And it’s a price point that’s reasonable. And I look at that, especially their design locations, where they’re, kind of, selling the idea. And we’re going to see what’s going to happen with their brand new location in downtown Toronto. That’s going to be very unique. But I still look at certain brands where they do have different size footprints based on where they’re going. And I think that’s going to be very unique going out of the pandemic because I’m assuming that these big footprint locations, they’re going to want to try different things.

Melinda: Yeah. They’re really going to push that destination story to try and get people there, for sure.

Dustin: Absolutely.

Melinda: So if you were going to give retailers any advice about how to approach a destination shop for, like, big impact, but also that longevity, what would you say?

Dustin: Keep things fresh. Give people a reason to go back. This is your opportunity to create a world in which the folks who are coming through the door may be your biggest fans. But they are excited to come back through that door. And they understand that something will be new. I bring Disney into this because they do a great job of it. Anytime you leave from vacation, you want to go back to see if there’s a new piece of clothing, or a new thing at Memento Mori outside of the Haunted Mansion, or, you know, Pirates of the Caribbean shop, or The Art of Disney, or something like that. I look at that as you want to be able to have these locations where you are giving people that reason to go back. And I want to go back and have different experiences with different products, different merchandise, and keep giving me things that entice me.

Restaurants have that ability to do that. Retail has always been focused on the seasonality. Here’s the fall lineup. Once you’ve seen the fall lineup, nothing will change until we get the holiday lineup. But if you can spread things out and know that your folks that are brand loyalists, that they know what it’s all about, they will be able to approach your destination in a different mindset, and almost bring their friends and their families with them in order to try something new. I think that’s a really big thing going forward.

And honestly, retailers need to see what is out there in the marketplace. And they have to continuously be on top of trends and really focus on their buying. Because if they buy incorrectly, that won’t really affect them in the long term unless they do the Best Buy/Future Shop thing where they go and buy a ton of TVs and Blu-ray and all of a sudden, the technology just changes. I think that’s the one caveat. But I think a lot of these brands, they need to do more research into how to bring those loyal, local customers. Because until travel comes back, there’s very little turnover on your clientele. So if you have the same people coming through your doors every single day, you really have to think about how to engage and then get those folks to continuously buy. If it’s a loyalty program, if it’s an engaging, you know, exclusive drop, however it is, that’s where you have to go and just give people that reason to come back.

Melinda: Absolutely. I think that’s excellent advice. And I think a really great place to look is at local stores since I think a lot of local retailers are really getting this right. They’re buying very small orders of limited products. So it’s like if you want it you got to buy it right away or it is gone. That drives excitement. It drives energy. There’s been a few times where I’ve seen something on Instagram. By the time I click the button, it’s sold out already. I’m like, “What? How did that go so fast?” And then you message them. You’re like, “Can you get me one of these?” And it creates this level of, you know, you want to go back. You are enticed. You are excited. You feel that like “I’ve missed out on something. I’ve got to get it.” And I think a lot of local stores are being very clever, and they have that agility. And I think bigger brands need to kind of look at that and say, “How can we mimic that?”

Dustin: Yeah, how do we get the local? How do we get the folks who have disposable income? They’re bored because they’re not traveling. How do we bring New York to Toronto? How do we bring Toronto to Saskatoon? Like, there’s so many different things that you can do and we’re seeing pop-ups try to do that. And I think more brands should do more pop-ups. That’s a future conversation, 100 percent. I love the idea of a pop-up. It’s such a fun, fun experience if done correctly. But for destination shopping just look at what’s successful. Go out there and find out what others are doing and mimic it and make it better because you can. Technology is there.

Melinda: Absolutely. Well, thanks so much for chatting with us today.

Dustin: Yeah, it was a blast. Thank you so much for having me.

Melinda: Given the fast-changing and unpredictable nature of today’s landscape, many retailers may feel paralyzed and unsure about what to do. However, building an experience takes a lot of time and it’s also possible, in fact, it’s desirable to build flexibility into every channel and platform your brand has in the market. If you have a favorite retail experience you want to talk about, send us an email at info@sld.com and tell us about it. We’ll get in touch. Thanks for listening.

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