Contrary to popular belief, the rise of e-commerce hasn’t meant the decline of brick and mortar businesses. Savvy businesses across the nation are successfully adapting their approach to meet the widespread consumer demand for unique, luxury in-house retail experiences. Even the most iconic brands understand a name will only take you but so far—it’s about connecting personally and authentically with in-store visitors. This Property Matters article explores how brick and mortar businesses are transforming across the nation, demonstrating their success through increased revenue and square feet.
Last year, 181-year old Tiffany & Co. unveiled “The Blue Box Café,” the company’s first-ever retail dining concept located on the fourth floor at its Fifth Avenue flagship store. Finally, you can have breakfast at Tiffany’s. Expanding on this dining concept, Macy’s has invited star chefs and popular eateries to provide on-the-go food options as well as fine gourmet restaurants in stores nationwide.
Gyms and health clubs are taking over numerous retailers that have closed or filed for bankruptcy. The size and the layouts as well as the equipment have changed including the inclusion of climbing walls. Next year, the Big Apple will welcome its largest climbing gym, when Vital Climbing Gym opens its 46,000 sq. ft. facility at One Nassau Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Additionally, Crain’s NY reports The Cliffs Climbing + Fitness will expand from its current Dumbo location to Long Island City and Westchester. They plan to open a 40,000 sq. ft. climbing, yoga and fitness facility in Gowanus, Brooklyn.
When purchasing such personal and regularly used products such as glasses and mattresses, companies like Casper and Warby Parker have expanded to include more than sixty retail locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Similarly, furniture retailer LoveSac entered the metropolitan market with the opening of a store in the Flatiron District, The Shops at Nanuet, Walt Whitman shops and will be opening in the Roosevelt Field shopping center.
After opening pop-up stores and small shops within other stores, Google has signed a lease to open permanent brick & mortar retail stores in Chicago. The company plans to showcase its tut growing list of electronic products. This list now includes smartphones, tablets, thermostats, home security systems and Google Home, the company’s version of Amazon Echo.
Urgent care health facilities are occupying thousands of feet of retail space in the northeast and around the nation. One of the newest health centers to open is a mammography spa in a prominent Long Island shopping mall. Pure Mammography is a Long Island site for mammography screening, the first of its kind inside a shopping mall in New York. The facility, conveniently located at the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, allows individuals to get an annual mammogram screening with no appointment or referral.
Northjersey.com reports MOD Mouth, a teeth straightening and whitening spa currently with locations in Mahwah and Hoboken, New Jersey, is expanding and plans to open its flagship in the Garden State Plaza in Paramus.
Even with the demise of Borders Books and the closing of numerous Barnes & Noble book sellers, coupled with reading on kindle and portable computers, consumers continue to enjoy the opportunity of browsing for books in brick and mortar retailers. Manhattan currently has two Amazon book stores, one directly across the street from the Empire State Building (which also has a Stumptown Coffee adjacent) and the Time Warner Center. Later this year, Canadian book chain Indigo Books and Music, which has 85 super stores and 121 small format stores under various banners, will open a 30,000 sq. ft. store at the Mall at Short Hill. The store, located in part of the former Saks Fifth Avenue Space, will also sell toys, stationery, home décor and electronics.
Food courts are also getting upgraded to become food halls with a mix of local artisan restaurants, butcher shops and other food-oriented boutiques combined under one roof. In Manhattan, several retail locations have been replaced by food halls. UrbanSpace opened a new location at the historic General Electric building at 570 Lexington Avenue. This new location is less than seven blocks from its Vanderbilt location near Grand Central. The New York Post reported earlier this year that New York City boasts 30 odd food halls by one definition or another, including Le District and Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place in Battery Park City and DeKalb Market Hall in CityPoint in Downtown Brooklyn, the home of Katz’s delicatessen.
When it comes to brick and mortar businesses—from iconic retailers to routine heath care service providers—it’s all about personalization and unique experiences to stand out and stick around.