Think about the numerous retailers you can purchase a pair of jeans. You can narrow your purchasing decision by price point and quality, but even then you’re left with a dozen retailers competing for your attention. The winning difference lies in the customer experience. Delivering top-notch customer service is crucial, but it’s not enough to stand out from the competition. Consumers want unique shopping experience. Retailers are bringing people into their space and winning customers by merging retail with entertainment concepts. Industry experts call this “retailtainment.”
What is retailtainment?
The movement is exactly like what it sounds, a marriage of shopping with experiences that entertain or provide value. Alternatively, industry professionals call the trend “experiential marketing.” The concept ranges the gamut from a shopping district with a central platform designed for community activities to combining seemingly unlike niches to create a one-of-a-kind, can’t miss experience, like a winery with a hotel. Classic examples include art and coffee shops, athletic retailers offering fitness classes, or gyms with health food stores.
Examples of Retailtainment
Fashion Show Las Vegas
The Fashion Show shopping mall on the Vegas Strip lures customers with the promise of a high-fashion event. Live runway shows happened on the hour from 12 to 5 p.m. on weekends. Consumers see current products from mall retailers up close and personal. Individual stores in the mall continue impressing customers with special demonstrations and classes with various activities.
American Girl Place
On the surface, American Girl Place is a doll shop. But the brand has been winning at experiential marketing for years, creating special events where mothers and daughters bring their American Girl dolls to a tea party, take them to the hair salon, or visit the doll hospital. While the girls are in the store, they can browse accessories for their beloved dolls.
Grapevine Mills Mall
The saying goes, “everything’s bigger in Texas,” and the Grapevine Mills Mall delivers with super-sized entertainment anchors. Take the kids to the SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium with 16 themed zones. Younger children may enjoy the Lego Discovery Center with a 10,000 sq ft mini-golf course built of Legos. The mall includes a movie theater and an ice skating rink.
A leading Beauty retailer, Ulta is a prime example of a brand using retailtainment to win customers. Shoppers enjoy the brand’s facial stations and full-service salons. Customers can set an appointment at the Brow Bar or the Skin Bar. See their website for a full list of services located inside Ulta’s physical stores.
Saks Power Lunch
At its second New York City location, Saks Downtown is offering a new service called the “Power Lunch.” This unique service offers a style consultation and a quick beauty treatment over a catered lunch. The brand will even bring the power lunch to your home, hotel, or office.
What’s Next in Retailtainment
The newest shopping centers designs reflect the retailtainment trend. Districts accommodate for entertainment venues, dining, and experiential anchors designed to lure customers into the stores. On the retail front, we expect to see more brands trying to lure customers with new in-store events. Even Target and Walmart have tried experiential marketing. The few examples within this article are just a few ways retailers are winning customers with this trend.