"This week, Staples announced that it won't be using its stores for just selling anymore.
As consumers get more comfortable with e-commerce, marketers are finding they need to imbue their brick-and-mortar operations with updated missions.
Called an "unstore," the site, the electronics company's only consumer outpost, exists solely to display products. If customers want to buy something, they can do so online.
"People know how to purchase on e-commerce and very often get the product the next day," said Zach Overton, VP and general manager of the new space, called Samsung 837. "They don't need another store. They need a place where they can have a deep dive into the brand."
a retail outlet that in the past would have been designed solely to drive purchases in the moment can now function entirely as a brand advertisement. These concept stores allow customers to test products, interact with associates and, ideally, better understand the ethos of the brand. With real estate costs at a premium in key urban areas, the sites also allow a retailer to better use every square foot and not waste precious space on on-site stockrooms.
"Customer experience is becoming more influential in shaping people's expectations," said Denise Lee Yohn, a branding consultant, noting that such stores function as intensive, immersive storytellers that can convey a brand's history, attributes and future vision. "It's allowing the brand to say more about itself than just saying, 'Here is this product.'"
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