Small businesses are among the best examples of those unlocking hidden value in physical stores. George Gottl, chief creative officer and co-founder of global retail brand agency UXUS said in an opinion piece published in Fast Company that today’s retail environment no longer is assessed purely in terms of profit. Physical retail, he writes, is the foundation of an “emotional and experiential engagement” that builds customer loyalty for the long term. He cited U.S. toy retailer Camp as a pioneer in in-store experiential environments. In its nine brick-and-mortar spaces, children can play on fixtures and try the merchandise while adults gather and relax. Camp has six stores in New York City and its suburbs and one each in Dallas, Los Angeles and Boston. Its identity as “a family experience company” yielded results: about 50% of customers return to Camp stores monthly, and 17% return once a week. Even if they buy nothing in store, the connection boosts Camp.com sales.
For more, read Gottl’s column here.