Joann Fabrics’ new concept is all about the experience
Many more traditional retailers have been pursuing revitalization through reinventing the in-store experience. Now, 70-year-old retailer Joann Fabrics is launching a new experiential store concept geared towards getting customers to hang out and collaborate.
The prototype of the new store concept will be opening near the company’s headquarters in Ohio, according to CNBC. It will feature a “Creator’s Studio” section in the middle of the store for classes and community events, an in-store coffee area, custom sewing services, rentable sewing machines and other crafting tools plus concierge services and personal shoppers to accompany customers.
The store also features some technological enhancements like touchscreens that pull up craft projects from Pinterest and a bar for fabric cutting, which will allow users to check-in via mobile and receive alerts when their fabric is ready. The company, which operates 800 stores, plans to bring the concept to other cities after perfecting it in the pilot location.
In modernizing its look, feel and assortment, Joann Fabrics may be able to build a greater appeal with the vibrant world of crafters and “makers,” many who sell their products on websites like Etsy.
Rethinking stores as places for customers to meet and work together, like the new Joann Fabrics concept, has proven to be one popular model for retailers that hope to increase both customer traffic and dwell time.
In the flagging brick-and-mortar office supplies space, for instance, Office Depot has launched a concept called BizBox in an effort to become a go-to place for entrepreneurs and SMB owners to find services, network and collaborate.
In apparel, Nordstrom opened a concept store late last year so focused on acting as a gathering spot for customers that it doesn’t even contain inventory. Nordstrom Local allows customers to meet with personal stylists, try on clothing and have products that they want to purchase delivered.
Even bathroom fixtures have gone experiential. Last year, kitchen and bath brand Kohler opened a location called its Experience Center in Manhattan. At the store, customers can try out kitchen and bath fixtures and even test out next-gen shower technology in a “private bathing space.”
- Fabric and crafts retailer Joann looks for ways to get shoppers to stick around, not just shop there – CNBC
- Will Office Depot’s BizBox become the go-to place for SMBs? – RetailWire
- Will customers try Kohler showers before they buy? – RetailWire
- Nordstrom tries a no-merchandise store – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will the enhancements in in Joann Fabrics’ new concept store help to reinvigorate its brand? Do you think the experiential offerings will appeal to the chain’s target demographic while attracting new customers at the same time?