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3 brands raising the bar from traditional brick and mortar retail


Meet the Millenials and Gen Z - two generations that had access to tablets and smartphones since childhood. Accustomed to technology, their ability to download and process information has been formed from infancy and their expectations and attitudes around consumerism has had a profound effect on the way retailers sell their products.

These types of consumers expect that the interactions they have with brands go beyond purchase: "what more can you offer me? How will you make my life better? Show me value".

With the landscape of e-commerce competing with traditional stores, retailers have responded by turning traditional brick mortar stores into an experience platform. Here are 3 brands that are raising the bar for retail in the experience economy:


Samsung 837 

 Retail - experience economy - Samsung 837

Image credit {Samsung}

Amongst the hip commercial landscape of New York’s Meatpacking District sits a space that has turned traditional brick and mortar retail stores to an in-store experience. Our director Anthony Halprin, was on the ground last week on tour to walk through some of these spaces to experience the latest trends of global brands and what they are doing in one of the epicentre's of America. 

Samsung 837 is where culture and technology collide, an immersive digital and virtual playground and more importantly, a space where Samsung can let their users experience the products without the pushy sales-people and experience the lifestyle that comes with using Samsung products. A foreign concept to most, a store that sells nothing at all, but a new tactic that many of the leaders in tech are taking.


With a variety of special events integrated with art, fashion, fitness and music, gallery with commissioned technology-based art installations, VR Tunnel, a playroom full of family-focused gadgets, to name a few amongst the 60 individual experiences, the whole environment focuses on the user experiencing Samsung’s technology first-hand, driving purchase intent, gaining loyalty and showing value rather than purely transactional mechanic. The strategy is as much about driving social engagement than the access to the offering. It also offers Samsung an ability to monitor live-time consumer intent, allowing them to gain valuable data insights.  





Intersect by Lexus 

 Retail - experience economy - Intersect by Lexus

Image credit {Lexus}

Another brand harmoniously bringing to life the feeling and experience you might experience by owning a Lexus. Another space where no sales occur, but a series of experiences and events that engage and help create a meaningful relationship between the brand and the potential consumer. Just down the road from Samsung’s 837 in the Meatpacking District is Lexus’ take on ‘Retailtainment’ - Intersect by Lexus, by Milk Agency NYC.


A permanent space where guests are entertained, inspired and educated across the three level building.


The bottom floor is a public gallery space that features custom exhibitions and installations, as well as a cafe. The second floor is a full-service restaurant, lounge and cocktail bar. And the third floor is a private gallery that brings to life relevant ‘experiential programming that engages with the building, community and five core pillars – culinary, design, entertainment, hospitality, and technology’.


One of their upcoming experiences to get your calendar is ‘Sway by Snarkitecture’, May 3 - June 2, 2019 - an immersive installation on the private third floor gallery that reimagines the movement of water through rippling light. Snarkitecture have been internationally recognised for their innovative conceptual approaches to memorable experiences, investigating the boundary between art and architecture.

Nike - House of Innovation 000

 Retail - experience economy - Nike - House of Innovation 000

Image credit {Nike}

Shopping in physical stores requires energy, patience and can often be labour intensive. Retail giant Nike have recognised that the ease of online shopping just can’t be competed with and have responded with their flagship store in New York City, and regards itself as “The Face of Living Retail”.


Six stories covering 68,000 square feet, the immense size may leave consumers dizzy at the idea of entering the space. However upon entering, the effortlessness and and smart design of the space means that shoppers have a personal, responsive and tailored experience of Nike and its ethos.


A full customization wing of the building to add personal touches to any requested product, a floor entirely driven by the data of what consumers are asking for, ‘Shop The Look’ QR code scanners - just so you can get the exact outfit seen on the mannequin and of course, Nike Instant Checkout: meaning no lines and no waiting.


The space is all of Nike’s digital advances, smartly integrated with Nike’s understanding that their consumers still respond positively to tactility, personalisation and responsiveness to be the first to know what’s going on with the brand. The building itself is a response to a consumer experience: you want to share that you are there. The dressing rooms even have three light settings so you can adjust to see how your outfit will look at your candlelit yoga class, at the gym, or in natural light.

It is brands like Samsung, Lexus and Nike who are showing up, and not only saying but showing, “we want a relationship with you” and the experience of us goes far beyond the products we sell. View the gallery below for more images from Samsung, Lexus and Nike and to subscribe for tips, trends and inspiration for creating world class experiences from Sense eXp Newsletter, click here.