At SXSW, we attended STORY‘s founder Rachel Shechtman’s insightful conference on the future of retail. Haven’t heard of the hybrid concept store in Manhattan’s 10th Ave. retail corridor? Then you must read this story! Because what Rachel does with her concept store might just be what’s missing in today’s retail experience, a real story.
Retail media: bringing storytelling back to the heart of retail
As its name says, STORY is about stories. The concept store takes a magazine point of view: editorializing the shopping experience, changing like a gallery and selling like a store. How? Every four to eight weeks, STORY completely reinvents itself (from design to the actual merchandise) with the goal of bringing to light a new theme, trend or issue.
During her inspiring talk, Rachel Shechtman – former brand consultant for Kraft, TOMS shoes and Lincoln – exposed how a whole new story comes to life for every pop-up collaborations she does. Yes, collaborations: between the store, a brand, an artist or even a media who bring a whole collection of products brought together through a common creative & narrative vision. The idea is that the retail concept serves as the matchmaker between brands and consumers, integrating strategies of marketing, merchandising, and business development.
Building a store with key social media principles in mind
Nowadays, technology and Internet are so all over the place that we – as marketers, communicators, brands… – need to rethink all the touch-points, including physical ones, with that in mind. So, as Shechtman said, bringing the social media strategy principles such as the 3C’s into retail is a good way to start.
Xontent x community x commerce
Social media is about being real and putting aside traditional marketing mindset. Why? Because people are tired of living in a “fake” world where brands continue to think they can interact with their consumers in a top-down relationship. Internet & social media brought a new rule to the game: be real or be gone. And it’s how Shechtman considers her business, the idea isn’t to bring people products like you can have in traditional stores. It is about making them live and belong to a common story. In order to bring customers a whole new shopping experience, where they can get to discover new things, interact with their favorite brands through new licensing visions and partnerships.
style.tech Story x Intel
This particular Story was about exploring the collision of the fashion and technology worlds, showcasing tech-infused fashions alongside mind-bending creations from the high-tech maker movement. Highlighting the relationship between the tech community and the mainstream fashion industry, the retail experience told the story of how fashion & tech, together, are redefining what people can put on and turn on.
The store was composed of wearables (Ringly, Withings Activité fitness watch and high-tech menswear from Ministry of Supply), a 3D printer (Ultimaker), a connected mirror (Intel Galileo-equipped mirror – allowing people to create a customized, shareable selfie while donning a new garment or accessory), and even the technology-powered TopBrewer by Scanomat, a futuristic faucet that pours custom drinks, from steaming lattes to sparkling water, ordered on-demand via a wireless mobile app.
But it was not only about bringing FashionTech products to a store, the Story featured an event called “A Fashion Technology Conversation”, exploring how technology is weaving its way into the fabric of our lives. Led by PSFK founder, Piers Fawkes, the panel featured designer and creator of Wearable Experiments, Billie Whitehouse, and fashion-technologist Amanda Parkes.
“Intel is putting themselves out there, going beyond their ‘Intel Inside’ angle and manifesting into an outward impact on daily life” Schechtman said on how this movement is about changing the status quo.
To learn more about STORY, visit their cool website and if you have the chance to be in New York, just visit the store!
STORY, 144 10th Ave. at 19th St. NY, NY 10011 | Monday-Wednesday: 11am- 7pm, Thursday: 11am-8pm, Friday-Sunday: 11am-7pm