Reinventing ‘Retail’ With Each New STORY Experience

By

NEW YORK—STORY is an award-winning approach to conventional retailing. At STORY, “experience” is the currency of a successful operation and concept.

Rachel Shechtman, CEO and founder of STORY, the groundbreaking New York-based concept store known for its ever-changing, editorial approach to retail, shared her unique perspectives on the shopping experience during Vision Monday’s Global Leadership Summit last March.

A fourth-generation retailer, Shechtman called STORY, “a living lab” that is constantly changing, a “community center” where she and her team are “creating unexpected opportunities” for customers. “The process of access and discovery in the physical world is so important,” she noted.

Shechtman explained that “STORY takes the viewpoint of a magazine, changes like a gallery by updating its themes, design and products every three to eight weeks, and sells things like a store.” STORY has created dozens of unique retail installations in partnership with companies such as Intel, American Express, GE, Target, Lexus and Cigna, who serve as sponsors for the experience.

STORY, is a 2,000-square-foot shop that gets a complete makeover—with a new design, range of products and marketing message—every four to eight weeks.

Shechtman stressed that “experience per square foot is more important than sales per square foot.” She added that the key to a successful partnership with her clients is combining “a contextually relevant brand telling stories through a retailer for a contextually relevant product.”

Shechtman’s retail philosophy is about “content, commerce and community.” She agreed that retailing “is not just about selling things, it’s about experience. Experience sells things, not the place. If you’re not actively trying to open their pocketbook and you give them an experience you will have mind-blowing results.”