10 Top Experiential Retail Trends and the Retailers Pioneering Them


It is all about the experience. That is the trending mantra among leading retailers, and is the heart and soul of the retail renaissance.

Retailers are investing heavily both online and in-store to develop truly memorable and distinctive shopping experiences that set themselves apart from the competition, and help build consumer loyalty.

To uncover the top trends in the experiential retail space, Forbes looked at 10 retailers it believes are pushing the boundaries of what shopping can be. Below is a quick look at the 10 retailers and their experiential approach the publication highlighted in its “The Top 10 Experiential Retail Trends For The 2018 Holiday Season” article. The full article is available here.


Casper customers can take a nap while shopping. Instead of a typical mattress store, Casper recently opened The Dreamery, a nap showroom where customers can schedule a 45-minute nap in one of the store’s many nap pods.


Wayfair is featuring two holiday pop-up shops to introduce its new e-design platform. Instead of shopping for furniture and holiday decor online and not quite knowing what you’re getting, the shop will feature more than 100 samples of custom furniture, plus how-to lessons about common DIY projects.

Atom Tickets

To give customers flying around Thanksgiving a chance to relax, Atom Tickets created a pop-up movie theater in 2017 at JFK airport in New York City.


Some stores now feature an in-store spa for manicures and pedicures, shoe repairs and fittings for custom insoles. Customers can now get everything done in one place as they find the right pair of shoes and enjoy a little pampering.


Good Housekeeping magazine is partnering with Amazon for a pop-up shop in the Mall of America. The publication chose 40 top products that customers can test and experience. Customers can purchase the items and have them delivered to their homes.


Walmart has introduced Check Out With Me to streamline the payment process. Associates use handheld scanners to ring up items anywhere in the store, and then customers pay, take their items and go.

John Lewis

John Lewis introduced “treetorials” a few years ago to rave reviews. The idea is simple: instead of slaving over trying to find the best decorations for a Christmas tree, the store offers personalized tree styling. Customers can pick a pre-assembled package or have a professional tree stylist create a unique display.


Many stores across the country offer yoga classes and meditation spaces. Customers can even listen to self-guided meditations in relaxation pods at select stores.

Gwynnie Bee

Clothing subscription service Gwynnie Bee recently released an Alexa-powered unboxing experience. As a customer opens her package, Alexa offers an interactive experience that puts the customer in a choose-your-own-adventure story with her new items.


Joann is revamping some of its stores with new interactive features that make the store more of a crafting experience and less of a typical retail store. Customers can take classes, attend events and meet other local artists, as well as pull up project inspiration from Pinterest on touch-screen kiosks.

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