What is going to get people in the stores?

imagesThere is so much conversation around the millennials and how they purchase, shop, entertain, live, etc.  I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about it with others who are looking at many of the start-ups to invest in.  In the last few weeks I have been looking at the changes taking place in the home decor market…an industry that estimates over $65 billion a year spent on.

I walked through the Paris flea markets when I was there and noted how many people were looking, buying, talking, eating and drinking.  It was just as much entertainment as it was a desire to get something for the home.

Macy’s just renovated the 34th street store with multiple pop-up stores in the store that incorporate activities from 3D printing to technology driven displays to blow drys.  It is like going to a party for the afternoon.

Restoration Hardware is launching their new concept of modern design where you can discover, talk to an expert, put everything together and have it show up at your home and installed.  It is pretty damn smart.

I am seeing companies where everything is curated down to the vase on the table and with one click…it is yours.  It is decorating with ease.  There are experts in marketplaces to hire whereas in the past only the very top end of the market used decorators that is now changing.

Concept shops are popping up everywhere.  They are geared towards life style.  Books, art, clothes, food, accessories and even dog bowls.

Ecommerce plays such as Warby Parker, Bonobos and others are figuring out their brick and mortar play with their online store.  Do you just see the goods in the store, perhaps try things on and get home to a beautiful bag instead of shlepping it home or is the store more conceptual to help with future store planning.  Will there be more virtual experiences in store?

I saw a great quote from Andy Warhol…a man certainly before his time.  “All department stores will become museums, and all museums will become department stores.”

Retail is changing dramatically.  It is the millennials who are forcing the change.  They are the ones carrying the cash.  They want ease, quick satisfaction, entertainment, extension of their own personal brand, the ability to discover and to be delighted at the same time.  It is a big market out there to capture and we are just starting to see the changes that are going to come.