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Incredible Retail Success - What's the STORY?

Posted: 24 August 2018

Concept store STORY in Manhattan, New York is revolutionising retail. The brainchild of entrepreneur Rachel Shechtman, STORY began five years ago and has taken the US by storm.

Let's take a look at the STORY

  • Five years
  • 2,000 square feet
  • 4,000+ brands
  • 30+ installations
  • 450+ events

…. but what actually is STORY?

STORY explains itself in this way “Point of view of a magazine. Changes like a gallery. Sells things like a store”. It aims to bring together a magazine and a store in one. And the whole retail space gets re-invented every three to eight weeks. Alongside the installation runs an event schedule which has covered everything from book launches to women’s leadership workshops to yoga classes.

STORY has so far worked with over 4,000 brands. The store acts as a platform for brands to reach out to customers in a completely new way. The brands themselves are wide ranging, and not all niche products as you might expect. STORY has hosted P&G for example, who provided customers with a hot towel shave; STORY is not so much about the products, but the storytelling around them.

Where traditional retail focuses on sales, STORY focuses on community. They run a busy event schedule which acts to bring people together, inspiring them and igniting their imaginations. So far more than 450 events have been run.

The benefit of bricks and mortar stores is that they bring people together, it is a social occasion. The problem with traditional retailers though is that products are now so standardised that you can buy almost identical garments or products in numerous stores. You can always find it somewhere else cheaper, and ultimately the internet is there for easy ordering. STORY identifies this problem and offers a solution. In a time-poor society, retailers need to offer more than product if they are to get people through the door. STORY offers customers an experience, they feel special to attend select events, the products are almost incidental.

Traditional retail is a transactional experience, focusing on discounts to get customers through the door. But it’s become dull and shoppers are disengaged. The fast pace of social media means we all get bored easily. In contrast by re-inventing the space every few weeks, STORY ensures the content of its store is always fresh, bringing customers back again and again. Effectively STORY acts as a media channel for retail. And the events themselves bring people together for the human connection that we all desire and that our online lives cannot fulfil.

Read more about how traditional retailers can grab the attention of shoppers in-store.

UPDATE!! STORY has been acquired by Macy’s. Is this the start of a bigger change in retail? Have traditional retailers seen what needs to be done to revolutionise the industry? Or will Macy’s dilute STORY’s unique approach to retail? Time will tell…

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