Elevate to resonate: The rise of upscale retail experiences
Retail has been facing tough times in recent years, with low growth and high inflation leading to closures and cutbacks. However, the luxury sector is proving to be an exception to the rule, with increased demand for upscale retail experiences. According to Bain & Company, the global sales growth in luxury retail could reach 3% to 5% by 2023, possibly rising to 6% to 8%. This trend is driven by customers’ desire for premium experiences, with more than four in five shoppers indicating that they are likely to return to a store with the right atmosphere, according to Mood Media research. As a result, retailers are investing in reimagined spaces, which feature stunning design cues that provide an elevated experience for shoppers.
Luxury services and immersive experiences
Retailers are launching luxury services to appeal to their customers, such as merchandising more premium items, lavish coffee bars, and luxurious beauty treatment areas. They are also finding new ways to interact with customers and their brand through the smart use of technology. For example, H&M’s flagship store in Regent Street, London, features one of the largest LCD screens in Europe, which displays graphics that evolve during the day. In the kid’s section, customers can scan characters on their mobile phones, which then appear in augmented reality in the store. The store has also launched a beauty bar and a rental service, allowing customers who are signed up for its membership scheme to rent items for a maximum of seven days.
Reimagined brands and elevated experiences
Retailers across the UK are repositioning themselves to the public, creating top brands that are reimagined and at the top of the customer’s favourite list. For example, River Island has launched its River Studios concept, which features an elevated visual approach that reinvigorates both the brand and the high street with an elevated experience. The store’s design features displays that stand out and make a mark underneath high ceilings, which give shoppers a renewed sense of space. The tech deployed in the new look store includes an AI styling assistant that gives customers advice on which pieces might suit them. In the fitting room, displays show what else is available in a range so they can ask an assistant to bring over a different size or complementary pieces.
Action stations and interactive areas
Retailers are investing in interactive areas to engage customers and provide fun experiences that showcase their products. Sports Direct’s latest flagship store at the Arndale Centre in Manchester is a prime example. The store’s spacious design features curated spaces, dedicated sporting zones, and interactive areas that allow customers to play basketball, try mini-golf, play table football, or try their luck at computer sports games. The tech on offer helps customers find their perfect fit, with a gait analyzer and foot scanner available for footwear. A dedicated bra shop is also available, offering customers a personalized fitting service.
– Mood Media research reveals that 81% of customers are likely to return to a store with the right atmosphere.
– According to a survey by Bain & Company, Chinese consumers account for 35% of global luxury sales, and the total number is expected to double over the next decade.
– Retail Technology News reports that retailers must create a brand identity that resonates with their customers, telling their story authentically and transparently.
Retailers are investing in elevated experiences to attract customers and differentiate themselves in a tough environment. By offering luxury services, immersive experiences, reimagined brands, and action stations for interactive engagement, they are creating experiences that shoppers will remember and return to. By investing in smart technology and design cues, retailers can create unique experiences that stand out and resonate with customers.
The luxury sector is proving to be an exception to the retail downturn, as customers increasingly demand elevated experiences that include luxury services, immersive experiences and action stations. Retailers need to invest in smart technology and design cues that provide customers with unique experiences that stand out and resonate with them. By doing so, they will create top brands that are reimagined and at the top of the customer’s favourite list, which is crucial in attracting customers and differentiating themselves from the competition.