I love to shop!  Who doesn’t?

Living in Chicago, shopping options abound!

In spite of the rise of e-commerce, the physical point of sale is still alive and well.  Traditional brick and mortar retailers are being challenged to up their game to provide shoppers with engaging experiences.

I too enjoy an engaging shopping experience.   Some of my favorites include:  Pirch, Burberry and Eataly.   What do these three retailers have in common?  The design experience they provide to their shoppers.

I have been spending quite a bit of time in the flagship Burberry store on Michigan Avenue – unfortunately not for a purchase but to take in the experience of the store.   The design experience begins while walking down Michigan Avenue where you will catch a glimpse of the iconic plaid building.  The flagship Chicago store features what Burberry calls a “retail theater” concept that allows live runway shows and globally synchronized content to be broadcast via nearly floor-to-ceiling “digital walls.”   Their strategy…. Get Burberry’s online community of fans to take up residence in their stores.   Did you know that Burberry uses the same marble floor in all of its stores?  And in order to use the same marble, they bought a mountain to source it!  That’s taking the design experience to a whole new level.

Pirch also utilizes retail theater to engage their shoppers as they purchase appliances and fixtures.  Large engaging placards provide the backdrop for them to tell you a story about their bathtubs and washing machines.  You can cook in their kitchens and even test their showers.   Who knew buying fixtures and appliances could be so fun?

And if you haven’t been to Eataly yet (NYC, Chicago and European locations) it’s worth a trip to see the theater that is created with food.   It’s been called a food emporium.  Your senses come alive the minute you walk in the doors.   This isn’t your average grocery store – design experience at it’s best.

As we consider the future of retail, design experience will be at its core.  How will retailers keep their shoppers captive?  How will they get them coming back through their doors?  Can we push the envelope on how we recommend our clients merchandise in store?  What can we do to up the design experience game?