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Fans of Birchbox, the online beauty subscription service, now have a brick-and-mortar location in New York to visit. They can shop products, take classes and create their own gift boxes.

Online Retailers Offering Brick-and-Mortar Experiences

Online retailers provide convenience and ample product options to consumers, yet they lack one thing – an in-person experience.

More and more online-only stores are recognizing the advantages brick-and-mortar businesses have, and are beginning to open flagship stores of their own.

For example, Birchbox, which provides a box of sample-sized beauty products to monthly subscribers, opened its first physical store last year in New York. This brick-and-mortar store provides algorithm-enabled touch screens that recommend products to visitors and provide online reviews.

Bauer Hockey, a manufacturer of ice hockey equipment, will open its first store this summer in Boston. The retail outlet will include an indoor ice rink that will allow employees to implement the company’s “fit, learn and experience” sales process.

Stores like Bauer Hockey and Birchbox allow consumers to be immersed in what makes that retailer unique. Having a distinctive retail brand is more important than ever since there is so much competition in the United States’ 12 billion square feet of retail space, according to commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

The brick-and-mortar locations empower online retailers to share their brand with consumers in a holistic way, rather than just via web properties.

Beyond the ability to carry a full line of tangible products in one location, stores enable brands to immerse shoppers in their individual wonderland,” according to an article from Forbes. “Done well, a store embodies the brand. It becomes a tangible extension of its character — its charisma, even, if the brand is especially good.”

To read the full Forbes article, click here.


About Sara Logel

As NRHA’s market research analyst, Sara conducts organic research and stays abreast of industry trends to help hardware retailers better run their business. Sara also contributes to editorial content in Hardware Retailing magazine. Sara received her B.S. in Marketing and Spanish from Butler University and, after graduation, began her career with NRHA. Sara enjoys traveling, being outdoors and exploring the city of Indianapolis.

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