TRY BEFORE YOU BUY
Retailers show how their products withstand weather
To secure a spot in the uncertain future of retail, brands need to cater to modern youth’s desire for tactile, sensory, and immersive shopping experiences. The following fashion brands are doing just that by creating in-store environments that let shoppers test their products against the elements they’re intended to be worn in, ushering in the evolution of next-gen product sampling.
Luxury outerwear brand Canada Goose designed an immersive space called the Cold Room for customers to test the brand’s upmarket parkas. The room’s temperature is set between 0° and -13° Fahrenheit so that customers can experience the range of Canada Goose’s “Thermal Experience Index” (TEI), which is a scale that ranks the warmth factor of the brand’s jackets. When a shopper wishes to try a product in this room, a store assistant helps them into a coat and accompanies them into the room, providing a reassuring human touchpoint and helping to establish trust in the brand.
This spring, outerwear startup The Arrivals hosted a physical pop-up in collaboration with Dyson to cross-promote both brands’ offerings. The pop-up showcased the power of Dyson’s new Supersonic hair dryers and provided an environment where shoppers could simultaneously test The Arrivals’ high-end performance outerwear. The pop-up’s main feature is more akin to an art installation than a testing site: the NYC-based store contained a bouncy-castle with a wind wall (made of 30 Dyson hair dryers) where shoppers could test out the strength of the dryers and the durability of The Arrival’s outerwear while having fun in the process.
At the Woolrich flagship store in Milan, customers can test the brand’s outerwear in the store’s Extreme Weather Condition Room, which was designed by Japanese studio Wonderwall. The room is set to below-freezing temperatures and generates artificial snow every night, two elements that help customers effectively test Woolrich’s outerwear. This method of product trial ties back to the brand’s heritage, as Woolrich invented their Arctic Parka to protect Alaskan pipeline workers as they worked in freezing weather conditions.