Ever think you’d ride a roller coaster on the west side of Manhattan in the middle of a work day? You can at 837 Washington Street, where technology and culture are colliding … beautifully.
Earlier this month, several of us from the WE office in NYC visited Samsung 837, a 40,000 square foot digital playground in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District.
Unlike other retail stores, 837 doesn’t stock products, although you can make digital purchases onsite. Samsung’s goal is to use the loft-like space to create more of a cultural experience filled with ideas and interactions intended to entertain, stimulate and delight consumers, including the brand’s latest products in art, film, music and food.
There’s a lot I liked about the space, but some key elements stood out:
So what does this mean for consumers and other retail brands? As more customers shop online, brands will continue to investigate the strategic purpose of the traditional storefront and focus more on the individual consumer’s energized interaction with the physical space, the products, the broader community and, by extension, the brand. As someone who counsels our own clients on these trends and opportunities daily, I can tell you this is essential to deepening relationships with consumers.
Samsung builds upon the efforts of other brands, but raises the stakes considerably by curating a space around consumers’ cultural experiences and personal interests; focusing entirely on their interactions with the brand rather than an opportunity to simply drive onsite sales (something we can all appreciate).
837 represents a cutting-edge experiment in what the new retail experience will look like and could very well be the new retail standard.