With the steep increase in convenient delivery options for almost any product, retail stores will have to evolve to draw people to their brick and mortar locations. After two years of on-off lockdowns, we have collectively rediscovered the benefits of silence. As noise pollution can cause a range of mental health issues, such as stress, depression, heart problems, and sleep disturbance, the WHO calculated that in Western Europe the equivalent of one million years of healthy life is lost each year. That is why exactly these periods of silence can be the key to new brand experiences, according to Marie Dollé.
Some stores are already utilizing the appeal of silence by creating an oasis of peace for shoppers. For example, an Alex Eagle (clothing store) pop-up in London allowed customers to shop before stepping into infrared and ozone saunas or a cryotherapy chamber and taking a therapeutic massage. “The space is designed for members to escape the busy city to socialize, relax, and recoup.”
Selfridges (a department store) launched a month-long in-store campaign called ‘Superself’, which focused on self-care and positivity, including multi-sensory pods, feel-good sounds and self-help sessions. Fashion brand Dior even transformed their Paris location into a flagship museum with multiple places to eat, shop, and even stay overnight.
How can you utilize silence and calmness as a brand to offer your customers a (temporary) refuge from their noisy daily lives? Curious to read more about this topic? We have regularly written about the future of retail shops (for example here).