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Retail trends toward non-retail experiences

Retail experiences have been a trend for quite awhile. Stores from Hershey, Apple, and Anthropologie all broke new ground, but they always filled the store with things to buy. Now, the latest retail experience is to have less merchandise, more something else...  IStock_000018963885XSmall

NY Times: For Brands Like Toms, It’s All About the Experience, 2015-Nov-13 by Steven Kurutz

“Getting people into stores has become a huge challenge because the e-commerce experience gets better and better,” said Kim Vernon, a fashion brand consultant and industry veteran. “The smartest thing you can do is to get people in your store.”

The ways brands are doing that vary. Some, like Toms, are turning to coffee and events. Kit & Ace, a new streetwear brand with retail outlets in Canada, England, Australia and the United States, holds quarterly “Sunday Suppers,” catered by a local chef and promoted by word of mouth.

Nina Garduno, who founded the retail outlet and artist commune Free City Supershop in Los Angeles, is teaming with Light in the Attic, a record label, to open a pop-up record store in January. The concept is the latest in an annual reimagining of her retail space in which Ms. Garduno and her team develop a theme, asking artists to help create products, décor, art installations and events around it.

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