STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 47

"Shoppers
can sense
a retailer's
or brand's
stress when
they try to do
something
that's not
authentic or
genuine to its
brand."
- Emily Hamilton, FRCH
Design Worldwide

to unplug, including in-house yoga studios
and walking tracks. No room for a gym? A
cup of tea or water can go a long way with
stressed-out shoppers.
EXPERIENTIAL PLAY
Give your customers a reason to use all
their senses: Provide hands-on opportunities
to inspire and educate, where customers
can let loose, socialize or just act like a
kid again. Host events or offer in-store
moments of wow to give customers a sense
of childlike delight and surprise. Give their
minds a chance to imagine, daydream and
be inspired.
Last year's holiday window displays -
from Saks Fifth Avenue's "Land of 1,000
Delights" with magical landscapes featuring
animated creatures and oversized candy
to Lord & Taylor's "enchanted forest"
winter wonderland filled with handsculpted animals and snow - had viewers
daydreaming "once upon a time" at first
glance. Brands need to find opportunities to
give shoppers a much-needed lighthearted
break from reality.
Customers looking to learn new skills
want to do so in a relaxing environment.
Hands-on classes that inspire and educate
can be an opportunity to relax and socialize.
Concepts like "Plant Nite" or paint-andsip classes are unique and fun ways to give
consumers an occasion to learn something
out of the ordinary and reenergize.
From the Netflix hit "Stranger Things" to
the wildly popular Color Run events, adults
STORES.ORG

are looking for ways to embrace their
childhood and be transported back to a
time with fewer responsibilities. Brands
that create micro-moments to remind
shoppers of a simpler time through events,
merchandise or environment will leave
lasting impressions.
VALIDATING R&R
Hamilton says stressed-out shoppers
don't make for the best customers,
citing a recent study by Barclaycard:
Some 57 percent of shoppers said
they're less likely to shop with a
brand in the future if they experience
stress during a visit; 63 percent think
retailers should be doing more to relieve
shopping stresses.
Hamilton says in-store experiences
need to offer customers a safe haven
in the chaos - an environment that is
comfortable, convenient and calming.
Consider offering some of the following
amenities.
Stress-free services: Just as relaxed
environments are becoming more
relevant to young consumers, so too is
stress-free service. Even seemingly small
changes can have a positive impact on
a customer's experience: Lululemon's
men's store in New York welcomes
customers with cold-brewed coffee and
conveniences like an on-site tailor who
can hem or customize items.
Offline convenience: Thoughtfulness
and convenience are the king and queen

of customer amenities. Young
customers especially take notice
when brands streamline the shopping
process. Apple and Sephora take the
highly convenient approach of having
the checkout come to the customer
rather than the other way around.
Brands should focus not only on
in-store conveniences, but how to
make online returns as seamless
as possible. Nordstrom Rack has
recently been testing its "Drop &
Go" service that allows shoppers to
skip the cashier line and get straight
to the business of making a return.
AUTHENTICITY COUNTS
Not all good ideas are created
equal, of course: While it's good
to try something and "fail fast,"
Hamilton issues this caution:
"Whatever you decide, it must be
authentic, make sense and elevate
your brand."
She cites a short-lived collaboration
between Gap and Virgin Hotels
wherein Gap used its "Reserve In
Store" technology to help travelers
staying at a Virgin property. Using
the hotel's mobile app or the Virgin
Hotels website, guests could access
gap.com to shop and the hotel would
take it from there. Guests never need
leave their room, instead finding the
items they reserved already hanging
in their closet.
"What traveler doesn't like the
idea of ordering an outfit and having
it delivered because you forgot
something, or didn't pack right?"
Hamilton says. "It's a great idea, but
we're just questioning whether Gap
and Virgin Hotels connection was the
best [fit]."
As customers buy and return, or stop
shopping for a while, a dip in consumer
confidence is not a new phenomenon.
Most times retail gets stronger for
being tested. Hamilton sees a rebound
of offline sales as shoppers regain their
balance with the new realities.
"We think customers can sense the
difference between what's a forced
add-on," she says, "and what's really of
benefit to them."
STORES August 2017 47


http://www.gap.com http://www.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine -August 2017

Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail Politics
NRF News
Trends
Retail People
Hot 100 Retailers
Forward Thinkers
Personalized Pricing
C2W
Q&A
Store Operations
Omnichannel
Marketing
Online
Finance
Business Operations
Startup Spotlight
Security
Fraud
STORES at 100
NRF Communities Update
End Cap
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - intro
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - cover1
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - cover2
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 3
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 4
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 5
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Editor’s Page
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 7
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - President’s Page
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 9
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Retail Politics
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - NRF News
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Trends
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 13
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 14
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 15
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Retail People
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 17
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 18
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Hot 100 Retailers
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 20
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 21
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 22
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 23
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 24
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 25
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 26
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 27
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 28
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 29
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 30
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 31
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 32
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 33
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 34
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 35
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Forward Thinkers
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 37
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 38
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 39
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Personalized Pricing
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 41
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 42
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - C2W
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Q&A
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 45
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Store Operations
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 47
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Omnichannel
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 49
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Marketing
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 51
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Online
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 53
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Finance
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 55
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Business Operations
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Startup Spotlight
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 58
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Security
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 60
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Fraud
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 62
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 63
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - STORES at 100
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - NRF Communities Update
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - End Cap
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - cover3
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - cover4
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