The trends we’re highlighting throughout our Trend Spotlight series provide insight into how clients are getting creative when it comes to providing innovative solutions and memorable experiences for end-users.
With online business’ booming, retailers are finding new ways to drive traffic to their brick and mortar stores. Today, we’re highlighting Flagship Stores. What is a flagship store, you ask?
According to Insider-Trends.com, “a flagship store is the lead store in a retail chain. It acts as a showcase for the brand or retailer.” Unlike other brick and mortar stores, a company’s flagship focuses more on customer experience and creating an atmosphere, rather than just convenience. Often times these flagship locations are an attraction unto themselves, with the goal being that the atmosphere will draw you in and entice you to buy.
This trend is one that Dunaway has witnessed first-hand, when we provided structural engineering services for the YETI Flagship Store in downtown Austin, Texas. Our team partnered with Lauckgroup (Perkins + Will) to revitalize the 1930’s, 3-story concrete frame building, turning its street level space into a retail destination. We took into consideration the store’s flagship status during construction — resulting in exposed steel structural improvements consisting of an exterior deck, water tower feature, and hydraulic telescoping doors at large window openings.
When creating a flagship store it’s important to focus on three things: location, customer interaction, and brand recognition. These structural improvements were key in tying these elements together and making the flagship standout from other YETI locations. For starters, the exterior deck became an outside “Barrr,” where customers can enjoy an ice-cold beer as the sun sets. Nestled along busy South Congress Street, the large windows create intrigue and allow passersby to take a look inside, while additional structural support makes way for custom neon signage by local artist Evan Voyles. The location of the store combined with the structural improvements result in a flagship that is more than a retail space for YETI — it’s a memorable stop for tourists and Austinites alike.
Different factors determine the classification of a ‘flagship,’ ranging from a retailer’s primary location to the store that sells the highest volume of merchandise, but one thing is for sure — a flagship store will always stand out from the rest of the chain’s locations. Creating these shopping destinations takes time and detailed planning to bring them to life, but they do pay off — even the press coverage alone can be invaluable to the retail brand. Through a mix of detailed decor, careful construction planning, and unique merchandise — these flagship stores are elevating their brands and the experience they provide for their customers.