New retail experiences for summer

As customers are stepping out more, brands are stepping up their in-store experiences. Cross-industry brands from tech to CPG and even grocery are designing for the post-pandemic consumer–one who seeks connection, convenience, and creativity. Read below to learn about three brands that are breaking the boundaries of the modern consumer journey.


Though consumers have turned heavily to digital shopping during the pandemic, Google sees the value of having an in-person presence and approached their store design the same way they design everything else: “making sure they’re always helpful.” The company just opened its first ever permanent retail store in Chelsea, New York. The location is “designed more like a showroom (or a brand activation experience) than a retail space,” offering a range of Google-owned products such as Pixel phones, Fitbits, and Nest devices that will be sold along with Google brand merch. Speaking straight to Gen Z and Millennial preferences for sustainability, the store achieved a LEED Platinum rating for its environmental design.


Alibaba Group is betting big on their hypermarket chain known as Store X. The membership-only, big-box format supermarket (known as Freshippo) aims to reach the Millennial market in China, an affluent group with more children, by offering a “consumption upgrade” rooted in digitization and localization–such as organic produce from farmers across the country. With showrooms selling the “most popular products online,” consumers can scan a QR code, pay online, and pick up the products on their way out. Alibaba Group believes in their “strategy to combine the best practices from both online and offline shopping,” as part of what they view as the ‘New Retail’ trend. With 1 million members, the future of retail has made quite an entrance.


LEGO recently welcomed consumers to their first-ever “retailtainment” experience in their New York flagship store. The re-imagined two-story space in Rockefeller Center provides opportunities for children to conduct hands-on building, personalize their experience, and snap shots next to supersized statues of local landmarks. The brand explains, “We want people to walk into our stores and feel immersed in a world of LEGO bricks... Our entirely new experiences blend the very best of ground-breaking customization, technology and physical play allowing visitors to interact with the brand in exciting new ways.” LEGO plans to launch 120 stores in 2021–so get ready for a whole lot more in store play.