Think of the last beautiful magazine or catalog spread you saw. Perhaps you have a subscription and you’re sent a new one every month, always with something fresh and exciting to see. Now imagine taking that concept and inserting it into a retail store. That’s Story, where retail is media.
Story is a 2,000-square-foot store in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, founded by Rachel Shechtman in December 2011. The shop features a new concept with changes to design and merchandising every three to eight weeks and a focus on spotlighting emerging digital retailers. The brand has partnered with the likes of American Express, Intel, and Target to create an ever-changing and evolving retail space.
“There are opportunities [for partners] to leverage our unique combination of core competencies,” Shechtman told AdWeek. “A living lab meets agile merchandising tactics and breakthrough partnerships to affect meaningful change at scale.”
It’s biggest differentiator is that the brand doesn’t actually sell anything online, which is hugely different from most other modern retailers. There’s no e-commerce platform; it’s all about the physical store and building an [awesome] customer experience. Story has created stories around themes like Love, Color, Making Things, Good Vibes, and Made in America and curated specific product selections and partnerships to bring those themes to life inside the shop.
Story uses two revenue streams to pay for its model: The first is partnerships, which work similarly to a magazine’s sponsorships. Past stories have been sponsored by big brands like American Express, Intel, and Target. The second revenue stream comes from in-store sales, which typically come from smaller brands and designers. The store also hosts events that tie into its themes. During it’s Wellness Story, they offered yoga and Pilates classes. In it’s New York Story, they hosted a mixology class.
The culmination of each aspect of Story is a revolving door of content-centric experiences. Shechtman has something created truly innovative that really harkens back to the roots of retail where interesting stories and human interactions are at the center of a great customer experience.