Press commentary on shop-in-shops and in-store experiences in light of Story’s launch at Macy’s. Read the full article here.

On the significance of Story at Macy’s:

For its own experiential push, Macy’s tapped a proven success in innovative retail (the original Story boutique opened in 2011 and was profitable in its first year), but some questions remain. For one, apart from the Herald Square flagship, the Story shop-in-shops only average about 1,500 square feet, or about 1% of the size of a typical Macy’s.

“It’s amazing they’re making this investment in Story, but what about the other 90% of the store?” asks Richie Siegel, founder and lead analyst at retail consultancy Loose Threads. “Can that transform a 40,000-square-foot store, or is the problem or the opportunity much larger than what one section of the store can accomplish?”

On how to strategize creating in-store experiences:

Before that, though, retailers need to identify what they want to accomplish. “If your goal is to make money and you’re going to spend $200,000 building a store and it’s going to be up for one month, you’re probably not going to do it,” said Siegel. “But if the goal is to make a splash from a marketing perspective and lose some money, okay, maybe that’s actually achievable.”

[…]

Where retailers can make a mistake is if they think tactically, rather than strategically, which can lead to superfluous technology (think VR headsets in stores where customers just want to feel and try on merchandise) or a lack of basic necessities (like a phone line so shoppers can ask if an item they want is in stock).

A question that retailers should ask themselves, said Siegel, is: “Are you trying to solve a problem with this? Or do you just have a solution and you’re trying to find the problem? And I think a lot of the technology and some of these other things in stores are solutions in search of a problem.”