Originally posted to the Arc Worldwide blog in the October 2019 edition of The Marcket
Brick-and-mortar retail is a haven of discovery. Finding a new brand, product or merchandising story adds to the fun of exploring in-store. In fact, 69% of shoppers expect to see new merchandise whenever they visit a site or store.
To satiate this shopper expectation for discovery, some retailers are devoting space that is regularly transformed to feature a new collection, brand, or theme with an always-evolving calendar of pop-in displays.
These pop-ins (or shop-in-shops) create a destination in-store that is easy to refresh and can break the rules of other in-store promotions or campaigns—from look and feel, to footprint and fixturing—and disrupt a shopper’s routine while celebrating “new news” that helps drive traffic and increase basket size.
Macy’s, for example, acquired STORY in 2018—the Manhattan storefront that defined themselves as “having the point of view of a magazine, changed like a gallery, and sold things like a store.” Macy’s has since brought the model to 36 stores in 15 states. Initial themes have included “A Color Story,” “An Outdoor Story” and “A School of Style Story.” For the Macy’s shopper, this evolving pop-in approach has potential to bring a new sense of discovery in-store with more dynamic and visually-impressive merchandising. While some have noted growing pains to scale the concept from one storefront to three dozen across the country, time will tell how Macy’s tells this STORY.
Target also brings this makeover mindset to its seasonal department and, at their next generation stores, a “Trend Spot” that greets shoppers’ at entry with the “season’s best looks and trends, designer partnerships, exclusive brands and more, all beautifully displayed,” as described on the company blog. And deeper in-store, the seasonal department gets a refreshed aesthetic and curated collection of merchandise for each major calendar event—holidays, summer, back-to-school and more. Target has established a system of modular fixtures, hanging signage, and bold splashes of color to easily transform these spaces to serve up what’s new and culturally relevant with impact and at scale.
Retailers looking to keep things fresh or celebrate new products/partnerships should consider building up an infrastructure for pop-ins or seasonal displays. This regular rotation gives stores new occasions to merchandise against and opens the door for endless collaborations and vignettes for shoppers to discover.