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“Experiential retailing”: a useful store concept?

A Canadian retailer, Mark’s Work Wearhouse, is piloting a very interesting new store concept – it has installed a custom-made walk-in-freezer in its store in Edmonton. The purpose? To allow customers to try on garments and test how warm they are.

The freezer is set at -15  but the customer has a choice to experience chills of up to -40!! Useful for those contemplating a venture into Antarctica perhaps?!

The store also features a number of other interactive services, such as different surfaces, including concrete, for consumers testing footwear.

If the concept, known as “experiential retailing”, proves successful, Mark’s will roll it out to the rest of its stores in Canada. It might even give rise to other similar concepts. Maybe one day we could walk into an outdoor apparel store and try on a windproof jacket against a strong fan or in a wind tunnel, or cooling garments in a built-in sauna, or even waterproof clothing in a walk-in shower…

Anyone have any thoughts on how useful this could be? Would you use it if the experience was available?

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