Brands are making bold moves to broaden their omnichannel strategy. For example, the store-within-store concept designed to associate a brand with aspirational consumer lifestyles helps retailers to understand consumers better. The idea not only builds interconnectivity but reimagines how consumers interact within the retail spaces.

Retail has evolved from the beloved department store to the immersive retail experience on a continuous innovation arc. Targeting the discerning Gen-Z and Millennial shoppers, requires retailers to create an environment that emotionally connects the younger generations’ desire to experience brands before making any financial decisions.

From to Dick’s Sporting Goods, every brand is testing new store formats to adapt to changing consumer shopping behaviors.

Toys take centerstage at Macy’s and Target just in time for the Black Friday holiday shopping season. Macy’s and Toys R Us, two brands we never anticipated using in the same sentence again, are staging a comeback this fall with a co-branded online shop. According to analysts, Macy’s hopes to expand its toy offering with access to Toys R Us’ private label products and a rollout of more than 400 shop-in-shops slated for 2022. In a similar play, Target has partnered with Disney to extend their toy offering, including an online and in-store component. By the close of 2021, Target will have 53 small Disney shops inside its stores.

Several brands expand into home decor and design. Dollar General piloted “pOpshelf,” seasonal home goods and decor store targeted at the suburban female demographic. The concept was well-received by regional consumers, inspiring the retailer to integrate pOpshelf into its larger Dollar General Market stores. After the successful launch of its Detroit-based hotel, Shinola partnered with Crate & Barrel on a collection of utility chairs, beds, desks, bookcases, and other home goods reflective of its brand aesthetic. The selection is available online and at Crate & Barrel stores and a new Shinola Home retail location. Finally, Bed, Bath & Beyond recently partnered with Casper Mattresses, launching its first one-of-a-kind branded shop-in-shop “experts in sleep” experience.

Airport retailer Hudson has launched Evolve by Hudson, “a specialty brand experience with on-the-go travel essentials,” a shop-in-shop convenience concept targeted at consumers returning to travel post-pandemic. The retailer launched its first experience at the Nashville International Airport (BNA), with plans to expand the concept into Dallas and Las Vegas airports. Across the pond, The Latest, a retail gallery based in Berlin, blends shopping and showroom (similar to Showfields) in their presentation of new products from up and coming and established global brands. In addition, in a recent partnership with Harley Davidson, The Latest debuted the brand’s first electric bike–Start-up Serial 1 Cycles, exclusively.

Download the Fall 2021 Retail Report.