Online shopping is bringing about a fundamental change in shopping behavior. Today there are more online channels than you can imagine through which customers can source product information, place orders, and arrange convenient delivery. Shopping is now completed in a few clicks, with shoppers no longer required to pay physical visit to stores.
However, there is an important factor that online shopping is missing, and that is the unique, tangible customer experience which a physical store can offer. Although it is almost mandatory for brands today to expand their online outlets, many still strive to achieve better customer experience in their physical stores, because they know that customer experience is a key to achieving brand sustainability.
Gearing Hong Kong Retail Towards the Millennials
Take Foot Locker’s new Hong Kong retail flagship store in for example. The brand occupies a whopping 4 floors – 26,000 sq ft of retail space in total – at a prime location in Tsim Sha Tsui, the Hong Kong retail epicenter.
It is not without reason that Foot Locker chose to go big into Hong Kong retail. Returning to Hong Kong for the first time since their last store closed in 1995, Foot Locker wanted a store in the right location, with the right space design, packed with exciting features for the millennial generation.
The space committed to for the store has proved essential for Foot Locker in order for them to spread out their extensive range of experiential features. With the size and a prominent façade, Foot Locker made a clear statement that the ultimate sports experience in town can be found right here in their store. Being in the core area of Tsim Sha Tsui also helps the store to capture both local and tourist customers.
Millennials today make up a key consumer demographic, and brands need to lure them in with exciting features in order to get their custom. To impress them, brands are adding more interactive features than ever within the store to engage with customers. After all, brands want shoppers to visit the store, stay longer, and revisit again.
This has fed directly into the planning for Foot Locker’s flagship store. Every bit of the store is designed to make the young generation come in, look around, try things out, and hopefully to convert them from browsers, to customers, to brand champions.
Ultimately, Foot Locker’s goal has been to create a space that millennials view as a “place to be”, rather than merely as another shoe store. They’ve achieved this in a number of exciting ways:
- Local artwork features heavily in the store’s visual display to create a dynamic street vibe
- Different areas have been designated to engage with customers, for example cozy “approved for her” area for female customers to mingle and try out the sneakers and athleisure products
- Practical features like lockers for shoppers and comfortable seating enable a more enjoyable in-store experience
- Features like the selfie mirror have encouraged shoppers to take their experiences online
And the fun continues after payment. Customers will be able to extend their shopping experience at the “Activation zone” where they can get a free haircut at the barber chairs after purchases, and try out Xbox games from the stylish and comfortable couches. All these instore design and gadgets are created to make customers feel good, comfortable, relaxed, and most of all, trendy and cool.
Building an Experience
Foot Locker’s new flagship store in Hong Kong is not only somewhere you get cool sneakers. The visit is an experience that shoppers can brag about among your young friends. Foot Locker has put in a lot of effort in engaging with the millennials, for example a painting of the iconic landscape of Hong Kong which helps the brand associate itself with the local culture, something of particular importance to the younger generation today. Inside the store there are numerous spots for a customer to take photos and share it instantly across social media. It’s a direct way to promote the brand and increase exposure, as well as drive the customer experience.
Cushman & Wakefield, who partnered with Foot Locker to create the Hong Kong flagship store, focused on creating a space that expresses the brand’s values and potential and effectively get them across to its targeted customers through the extensive interior design. Through the store, customers can go from online to offline shopping and bring the experience back to online again. Together, Cushman & Wakefield and Foot Locker have turned the Foot Locker Hong Kong retail flagship store into a viral sensation and a gathering place for sneaker lovers.