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Commercial Zone Blog

July 6, 2021

The Future of In-Store Retail Experiences

Retailers are gearing up in expectation of a return to in-person shopping, with consumers flocking to stores to make up for lost time and regain a sense of normalcy. And they’ll find that what they once saw as normal isn’t normal anymore. In-store retail has changed – and for the better.

Major chains like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Nike, REI, and others are shifting their operations to incorporate unique experiences into their physical stores. These companies are preparing to become physical shopping destinations that pave the way for retail experiences of the future.

The House of Sport, a recent launch from Dick’s Sporting Goods, is an experiential store format that includes a climbing wall, a turf field and track, yoga, wellness services, and more. The 100,000-square-foot store offers customers hands-on experiences, with multi-sport activities that customers can participate in – inside and outside of the store.

While shoppers have become familiar with the ease and convenience of online ordering over the past year, brick-and-mortar stores have an advantage by allowing customers to test the merchandise before buying.

“You want the opportunity to try out the product, to touch and feel it and make sure it’s the right one for you,” Tim Roller told Chain Store Age. According to Roller, senior VP of in-store environment & visual merchandising for Dick’s Sporting Goods, the physical store remains key to consumer buying decisions. “You also want a trusted advisor who can explain the differences between products,” Roller said. “This is where brick-and-mortar stores continue to be so important for us. All of this went into the thinking behind House of Sport.”

Also seeking to improve the in-store experience, REI opened a new co-op store last year to bridge the gap between its products and the natural environment in which they’re used. Taking the bulk of the focus away from commerce, the new 25,000-square-foot store aims to amplify the customer experience and encourage community – a recurring theme from the pandemic.

In the heart of the store are long, multi-seating tables that are conducive to workshops and consultations. Multipurpose displays allow for added flexibility, from selling products to providing educational community demonstrations or events. This space also doubles as a meeting place that connects locals and visitors alike with programs and products to take advantage of recreational opportunities in the area.

Most notably, REI chose the location for this store based on where its shoppers are likely to use the products they purchase. It’s destination shopping at its finest.

Creating impactful in-store experiences will be the theme of physical retail moving forward. Retailers looking to make an impression with customers and establish meaningful shopping experiences also ensure their stores are clean and free of clutter.

With more foot traffic hitting stores in the coming months, it may be time to take another look at your current waste and recycling receptacles. By adding waste containers in and around your facility – particularly targeting entrances and exits – you can significantly reduce unsightly litter and improve the appearance of your business.

Commercial Zone offers a complete line of sleek and distinctive Precision Series® stainless-steel waste and recycling containers, which create a contemporary look to enhance any space. And with limited-time summer savings* now available from Commercial Zone, you’ll also save up to 43% on select Precision Series products.

The summer savings on Precision Series and the increase in foot traffic make this the ideal time to upgrade the waste and recycling containers in your facility

For more information on the Precision series or other waste and recycling containers from Commercial Zone, visit or call 1-800-782-7273.

*Limited time only. Summer Sale offer ends July 31, 2021.

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