By Peter Giannetti
The data confirms consumers are enthusiastically embracing in-store shopping again.
Some wonder, though, if the rush back to stores could end up short-lived novelty, a pent-up release by a reopening society that can’t resist the convenience of e-commerce that became more routine during the pandemic.
With national retailers launching myriad omnichannel initiatives to keep physical stores relevant in an increasingly digital marketplace, incubators for a successful brick-and-mortar future often are found in specialty store concepts unbound by the operational restraints of chainwide implementation.
One such retail laboratory is the new Allure Store, an all-out beauty shopping experience plucked from the pages of Allure magazine that recently opened on Lafayette Street in New York City’s Manhattan.
The store, opening as the beauty business awakens from its homebound pandemic slumber, showcases an editorially curated selection of beauty products—from cosmetics to appliances—in an environment that amplifies Allure’s expert voice into an all-senses shopping experience.
The immersive, content-driven format is set to reflect Allure’s editorial themes, including its Best of Beauty Awards and seasonal product changes. The plan is for Allure’s editorial team to collaborate with featured brands to host in-store events, tutorials and master classes.
The store showcases the latest shopper-empowering technology, such as augmented reality for customers to “try” products virtually; QR codes that connect customers with multimedia content; and smart mirrors that let customers preview their personal beauty creations.
The Allure Store, naturally, has an e-commerce complement, but everything seems to revolve around the physical selling floor.
Markus Grindel, managing director, global brand licensing for Allure publishing parent, Condé Nast, said, “As consumers begin to return to in-store shopping, innovation is critical for brands to cut through the noise. Allure Store is re-imagining retail with an entirely new approach to beauty, combining its trusted editorial voice and unparalleled expertise to create a first-of-its-kind, 360-degree immersive shopping experience.”
Omnichannel retailers of all size and scope are examining how to design and implement experiential concepts to attract consumers who are rediscovering stores and, more crucially, to keep them coming back.
There is a new retailer to watch on Lafayette Street in Manhattan toward the goal of enhancing the allure of in-store shopping.