How retail-tainment is attracting shoppers to stores with fun experiences


(ABC) —  An explosion in online shopping. Of course, that sector’s growth has come at the expense of traditional brick and mortar stores. But, some of those stores have a new plan to turn the tide.

The in-store vs online shopping war has a new battlefront. Retailers desperately want you off your computer and in their stores. Stores across the country are creating experiences for shoppers in store that you can’t get at your computer. It’s called experiential retail.

“Experiential retail or retail-taiment is about using all of the senses to engage the customer,” said Cristina Ceresoli, National Retail Federation.

Shopping as entertainment? What does that look like?

ABC News was at an Eddie Bauer store in Columbus Ohio, where they’ve dropped the temperature to put the heat on their online competitors. If you were buying a jacket online, you wouldn’t really know how warm it would keep you.

They’ve created an ice box chilled to as little as 16 degrees so customers can try out their cold weather gear in cold weather. Something they can’t do online.

“We want it to be fun. We want people to come in and engage with our guys in the store and let us know and help you with your adventures,” said Jorie Westley, Eddie Bauer.

And they’re not the only ones.

At Sephora, beauty lovers in-store can take classes, experiment with beauty products, and even digitally try on eyelashes and lipstick

And for golf fans, the PGA Tour Superstore has gone virtual letting customers test their swing with virtual golf course simulators.

“What retailers are really looking for is to delight the customer,” said Ceresoli.

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