By Nathaniel Mallon – Verada
Experiential retail is on the rise as consumers demand more from their shopping experience. Traditional brick-and-mortar locations have suffered, while retailers that have embraced the new concept have thrived. As we move into the future, studies reveal that the demand for experiential retail isn’t slowing down, and retailers who want to stay prevalent need to embrace this idea of “retailtainment.”
New York City retailers have led the way for the industry, which has incorporated the concept into their locations since experiential retail was first recognized in the city when designers Rei Kawakubo and Adrian Joffe of As Boys launched Dover Street Market in Manhattan in 2013. Mimicking their original concept opened in London in 2004, Dover Street Market comprises eight maze-like floors that include a restaurant, numerous art exhibits and possibly the collection of contemporary clothing the most overwhelming and complete on the continent.
Since then, individuals have taken advantage of this new demand to introduce new creative concepts throughout the city. Retailtainment now uses available retail and office space to deliver community experiences, bringing together like-minded people who share a passion. This model has proven effective in improving customer experience and increasing sales for brands and businesses.
Notable experiential retail in New York
After pioneers such as Walt Disney, Nike and Levi’s first integrated experiential retail into their New York stores, other brands and companies large and small are following suit. These merchants adopt new concepts that create an experience for the consumer, increase the time he spends in his stores, offer him the possibility of creating memories during his purchases.
Vital climbing room
Indoor sports experiences are among the most popular in New York as residents seek healthy outlets in the bustling city. One of the first introduced to the Williamsburg-Greenpoint border was Vital Climbing Gym. Opened in 2018, the San-Diego-based company signed a lease to occupy a 31,000 square foot industrial property, with plans to build the space to nearly 46,000 square feet.
Brendan Thrapp of Verada Retail led the team of owner representatives throughout the transaction. Commenting on the transformation seen across the city, Thrapp shares, “There’s been a big influx of experiential retail into the city, and I only see it growing. Coming out of Covid, I think people are looking for more connection, more full sensory experience.
Today, Vital Climbing Gym is a 24-hour gym that offers climbing and training classes and workshops, as well as aerial, bouldering, fitness, cycling and climbing classes and workshops. yoga. At the time of the execution of the lease, Vital Climbing co-founder David Sacher said, “The building is dramatically underutilized.” He continued, “It’s really run down, and we can do something cool with it.” Now – in 2022 – Vital Climbing has transformed the warehouse and opened a second location in Manhattan.
five iron golf
Five Iron Golf recently signed a lease to open its new location in Midtown. Occupying a space of 30,000 square feet, Five Iron Golf will provide an experience for both advanced and novice golfers.
Five Iron Golf reports: “For the serious golfer, Five Iron hosts high-tech Trackman simulators, access to professional instruction, practice time, leagues, club storage, showers, top-of-the-range clubs usable for free during [their] reservation and in-house club arrangement services. For the less-than-serious golfer… Five Iron offers flexible event spaces, a full-service bar, local cuisine menus, table games like ping-pong and shuffleboard, and big-screen TVs perfect for watching. [their] favorite game.
Founded in 2017, Five Iron Golf has expanded to over twenty locations across the United States, with international locations in Singapore and India.
In 2021, Santiago Gomez, co-founder of Cosme and ATLA restaurants, announced his new concept, Padel Haus. Padel Haus is the first padel club in New York and offers residents the opportunity to participate in this relatively new game. “Padel is a combination of squash and tennis and, according to some, it is the fastest growing sport in the world… According to the International Padel Federation, eighteen million people now play this sport in 90 countries.”
Padel Haus now occupies a 30,000 square foot space in Williamsburg and includes both a club and a restaurant. This new concept, classified as experiential retail, responds to the growing demand from residents of Williamsburg, a community that has been transformed over the past decade. What was once a heavily industrial area is now home to luxury mixed-use condominiums and historic homes, with demographics including families, couples, and college students.
LEGO Group ‘Retailainment’
Not only is athletics making its way into experiential retail, but big brands, including LEGO, are too. After years in a pandemic environment, LEGO launched its flagship experiential retail store in New York City in 2021. The store offers never-before-seen immersive digital and physical shopping experiences to inspire creativity and imagination.
Previously, LEGO Chief Commercial Officer Colette Burke said: “While our existing store format has been very successful, we are evolving it to build brand love and create memorable experiences that people will talk about long after. their departure. We want people to walk into our stores and feel immersed in a world of LEGO bricks. We’ve designed the spaces to spark creativity and imagination and encourage hands-on play. Our talented designers have developed experiences entirely news that combines the best of groundbreaking customization, technology and physical play allowing visitors to interact with the brand in exciting new ways.The location includes the LEGO Brick Lab, a world’s first retail experience that immerses people and their LEGO constructions in an incredible virtual world; the impressive and interactive discovery tree, com composed of 880,000 LEGO elements; an interactive storytelling table designed for adult fans, which brings stories to life behind the sets available in-store; and much more.
The LEGO store occupies a two-story, 7,175 square foot store on Fifth Avenue and is the first of the brand’s innovative new retail format.
Leveraging Artificial Intelligence to Improve the Retail Experience
Beyond experiential retail, retailers specializing in art, music, film or even food are quickly realizing the potential of using artificial intelligence (AI) to create an immersive customer experience. . If current trends continue, companies that can tap into our desire to do and feel, rather than just going somewhere, are more likely to capture our collective attention and increase their profits. ArtsDistrict Brooklyn ArtsDistrict Brooklyn, also known as AD/BK, is a new immersive arts venue occupying 25,000 square feet at 25 Franklin Street in Greenpoint. This reclaimed warehouse, which overlooks the East River, has been transformed into a massive art installation complex that includes rotating installations. Marketed as “where innovation meets imagination”, AD/BK combines bold creativity and unparalleled originality to ignite curiosity and invite exploration. In addition to its exhibit space, the venue includes a daytime cafe, a pre-show destination where visitors can enjoy free Wi-Fi and an open-air patio with outdoor seating. It also has an NFT gallery where visitors can purchase works from main stage shows.
Hall of Lights
Located in the former Caisse d’Epargne Industrielle des Emigrants, the Hall of Lights invites visitors of all ages to discover art and culture from a new angle. The 33,000 square foot space, which sits across from City Hall Park, currently features the work of Austrian painter Gustav Klimt.
Unlike other experiential pop-ups that have opened in New York, the Hall is a permanent immersive arts proprietor, dedicated to presenting entirely new and personalized exhibitions every 10 to 12 months, based on the work of different world famous artists. Culturespaces, one of the main private managers of museums and cultural heritage sites in France, is carrying out the project.
SUMMIT One Vanderbilt
Taking advantage of its unique location, height and views, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt combines elements of art, technology and architecture to take the concept of the “viewing platform” to an exciting new level. At 1,401 feet, One Vanderbilt is the tallest commercial skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan and among the thirty tallest buildings in the world. Inside, visitors gain access to a multi-sensory artistic experience that forces them to question their perception of the built environment, the natural world around them and their sensory reality.
Ascending ninety-three floors via one of the largest glass floor elevators in the world, visitors enter an immersive artistic experience, curated by Kenzo Digital. A state-of-the-art promontory offers breathtaking views of the five boroughs with a choreographed procession of connective social spaces – including hallways, escalators and a skyline café.
Transform the user experience
Consumers today are increasingly selective about the brands and stores they choose to shop, and 75% say they prefer an Experiential store to non-Experimental stores. This means they are looking for unique and seamless shopping experiences.
As a result, it is more difficult for retailers to attract and hold their attention. Experiential retail, including immersive commerce, aims to create an interactive experience that truly engages consumers in shopping instead of just browsing briefly, and this concept opens up a new path for retailers of the future.