Keep retail relevant in the age of online shopping.

Patagonia came to us with a simple problem: help us grow the brand in the imaginations of customers and increase visitation and engagement for their brick and mortar stores. Naturally, we were eager to help one of our favourite brands. Realizing that there was no sense in competing on price or convenience with an online shopping engine, we identified the unique and ‘own-able’ strengths of the Patagonia retail experience.

After conducting audits in the mid-west, California, Toronto and New York, we created a blueprint for success that reimagined the brick and mortar stores that wasn’t about selling more stuff, but instead about building community. We figured that if we put experiences, cause and service above everything else we’d draw people in and foster positive brand associations that would last long after their existing jacket burned out.

We blended the best aspects of a farmers’ market with the latest technology to create a standard approach that galvanized and engaged people in each region around local issues that mattered. Whether it was a canning clinic or CSA pick up, speakers series or an environmental art project, we produced a working template that allowed stores to be responsive to local environmental issues, specialized interests and empowered staff with the skills to plan, market and pull off a variety of in store activities. We also looked at in-store storytelling, merchandising and layout as factors that helped shape this newly imagined customer experience. The people came (30% more, in fact) and stores became community hubs. Long live retail.