NY City Retail Tour: Reinvention, innovation and inspiration


Branded environments are numerous, purpose-driven and constantly evolving. They also are foundational to our economic climate and culture. Heck, even the metaverse wants brick & mortar merchants.

And they fascinate us at Miller Zell.

That is why we on a regular basis host retail excursions for clientele, most not too long ago in New York Town, where by we sought out the spark of reinvention, innovation and inspiration.

Our curated tour stops weren’t only centered only on the newest, shiniest pennies. They also symbolize a extensive assortment of retail environments that are applicable to our clientele and share a person trait in typical: prioritizing shopper experience.

Along the way, we saw things our clients shouldn’t do. But we gathered plenty of reliable takeaways, which includes all those concentrated on the rewards of:

  • Solution bundling
  • Suggestive marketing
  • Digital integration
  • Product or service elevation
  • Expressing experience
  • Alternatives marketing



REI Flagship

The 39,000-square-foot, three-level REI Flagship on Lafayette Avenue is an architecturally sizeable making in SoHo. The aged-faculty sense of it supports the REI manufacturer, which communicates veteran expertise that can serve equally the professional and beginner outdoor man or woman.

REI can take pleasure in its repair service/consulting expert services — biking? ski/snowboard? camping? — and pairing individuals with genuine know-how, bundling products and solutions for outside adventures with SMEs who meet up with buyers at “genius-like” specialty bars with a roll-up-their-sleeves, personalized knowledge. They can capably prescribe a product or service for an expert rock climber with a specific require or outfit a novice for a 1st-ever family camping journey.

What is crucial for a keep like REI? Exceptional, knowledgeable associates furnishing actionable steerage and tips, who then are supported by a retailer ecosystem that promotes and augments these answers.



Dyson Demo Retail store

Dyson only has 5 standalone merchants, so its Demo Retail store on 5th Avenue pretty much capabilities as a headquarters. Its intent is easy: rejoice the brand’s mix of “art-furthermore-science-in addition-engineering” strategy and show why its products are the ideal at what they do.

And even though many would to begin with recognize Dyson as a maker of superior-tech vacuums, their most popular new offering at the Demo Keep — hair styling — highlights their trending merchandise: Dyson Airwrap™ stylers and Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryers.

“Hero Agents” engage in a dual part of in-store associates and hosts for online chats. They display products and facilitate omnichannel buys — even offering complimentary gift wrapping.

The takeaway from a Dyson Demo Shop is how Dyson solutions perform, and Dyson is confident that information will elevate its products and solutions in the marketplace, raise sales and construct brand loyalty.



Nike Flagship

The Nike Flagship retailer on 5th Avenue celebrates by itself as “The Dwelling of Innovation,” and the “Ultimate Nike Retail outlet,” just one that provides “a peek behind the curtain of Nike innovation.”

The retail store delivers a juice bar for members — also free with buys — a customization house that permits clients to personalize goods, a flooring that includes Nike “experts” who can supply assistance on “all points sport and style” and self-checkout.

It is an immersive practical experience that will check a good deal of bins for those who currently are model advocates. It also will satisfy these who want to search for an prolonged period of time, as well as provide mission-driven prospects trying to find precise products for invest in.



Nordstrom Area West Village

This is a reinvention of a Nordstrom “store” as a brand name ambassador that qualified prospects with companies, not on-internet site product sales. Its sales target is on BOPIS or curbside pickup, like an old Sears Roebuck store’s pickup, only reimagined for the 21st century.

It presents tailoring/alterations, expedited returns — its own and other on the web merchants — and model information. It also, notably, facilitates clothes donations, therefore tangibly serving its community.

Additional, it’s proven adaptable when experiments do not work, these as when an on-web-site shoe cobbler assistance was removed since it didn’t get significantly traction with shoppers.



Google Keep

What could exhibit the benefit of brick & mortar a lot more than a shop designed by the enterprise that made its worldwide identify as an world wide web look for motor?

The Google Retailer in Chelsea, which opened in the summer time of 2021, is all about palms-on product activities. It provides clients a likelihood to “Experience all hardware created by Google — Pixel, Nest, Stadia, Fitbit, Pixelbook — fingers-on and in‑action, and see how all our solutions occur jointly.”

The expectation is that if consumers enter an immersive Google encounter, this sort of as witnessing the helpfulness of Nest products in a simulated living room, they will be won in excess of.

In sum, this shop strategically presents merchandise demonstrations of electronic integration that in the end grow to be methods offering to consumers.

More, Google views this, its initially shop, as a check case, as it eagerly solicits buyer suggestions to make improvements to the general working experience.




Lucid Motors flagship “store” in the Meatpacking District is not about offering its new EV cars. In fact, it just can’t offer out of this area.

This showroom is about establishing the brand name as an upscale competitor to Tesla, as an EV that updates driving overall performance and innovative engineering. The thought is that clients who see, study about and expertise what Lucid is providing in phrases of innovation, engineering and finish-to-stop practical experience will promptly covet the new brand name in what figures to be an intensely competitive market place going ahead.

Whereupon they can use the readily available technological know-how — in-shop or on line at-house — to personalize and then get a new car for supply.



Mattress Tub & Past Flagship

The two-stage, 92,000-sq.-foot retailer in Chelsea reinvents Bed Tub & Beyond’s formerly solutions-overflowing keep layouts with enhanced sightlines, wayfaring and encounters, when also attempting to far better fuse electronic and actual physical retail journeys.

The aisles are wider, primary retailer maps evidently converse on SEG (silicon edge graphics), and manufacturer displays/vignettes split up site visitors patterns and assist suggestive advertising.

The retailer presents a range of merchandising ordeals, structured by area, and retail outlet-inside-a-keep partnerships, this sort of as 1 with Casper. A “simplehuman” space for an in-house brand name at the prime of the escalator feels distinctive and effectively-executed.

Consumers also can use the Bed Tub & Further than mobile app in-retailer for navigation and item information and facts as well as a “scan-and-buy” option that makes it possible for shoppers to bypass the checkout line.

These upgrades are purchaser-centric and experiential, delivering buyers fingers-on curated alternatives and better simplicity with digital integration.



Reddy Store (Petco)

Petco’s “Reddy Shop” on Prince Street in SoHo is billed as a “downtown boutique where you can store the freshest Reddy manner and examine new ordeals together” with your animals.

It combines large-finish pet gear with a pledge to aim on sustainability (“85% of our types are produced with plastic from recycled bottles.”).

There are also localization and curated providers — cost-free “pup cups” — that are geared toward creating faithful, repeat prospects. (In point, our group obtained a passionate, on-the-spot testimonial from a buyer).

This Petco sub-brand name delivers a perfectly-identified retailer a distinctive touchpoint for client conversation and tests merchandise.

And, finally….




The Protein Bakery

Our tours don’t only focus on substantial national suppliers. The Protein Bakery, an owner-operated smaller enterprise on West 19th Street, gained our crew around, and not just mainly because of its delectable — and healthful! — sweets.

This is a great-seeking house, with customer testimonials on the walls and an clever layout that puts the target on the goods and the people. It aspires to be “warm, inviting and buzzing with fresh new energy” and it succeeds.

In other words, retail reinvention, innovation and inspiration come in quite a few forms, but the purpose is the similar: satisfied, faithful consumers who come to be manufacturer advocates.

Disclaimer: These pics are being  made use of for under the Copyright Act for “fair use” for reasons this sort of as criticism, comment, news reporting, educating, scholarship, schooling and investigation. All credit score goes to the respective corporations, internet websites and photographers. 


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