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The Currency of Experience: How Brands Appeal to Millennials

Here's how retailers are transforming the shopping experience.

For retailers, it’s no longer about what you offer but how you offer it.

Millennials Retail Experiences

Millennial customers are increasingly focusing on experiences instead of simply “buying things,” which is encouraging all retailers, including Starbucks and Whole Foods, to re-think their stores, according to Business Insider.

Starbucks, for example, recently announced that they will begin offering food from an artisan bakery at their upscale Roastery and Reserve locations. What is Starbucks’ Roastery? According to CEO Howard Schultz, “the Roastery is a place of innovation and discovery, coffee, romance.” Doesn’t sound like your everyday Starbucks run, does it?

In fact, Roastery locations may look more similar to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory than your corner coffee shop. People don’t come to the Roastery for a cup of coffee and a scone on their way to work. According to Business Insider, “The 15,000 square-foot location allows customers to see small-batch roasters in action and serves drinks like the $10 Nitro Cold Brew Float.”

While the Roastery certainly stands out among other coffee and consumer brands, the move towards offering more in-store experiences is not isolated. Consider Macy’s move to offer a Millennials-centric floor in their New York store. Sure, you could still go there to shop, but what’s the fun in that when you could actually embroider your own jeans and dine from local food trucks?


“The entire shopping experience needs to be an experience, not a commodity,” Jason Dorsey recently told Business Insider. “For retailers integrating things like live music, exclusive events, digital gaming, and the unexpected is what transforms retail shopping into an experience.”

What’s your ideal shopping experience? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter at @WhatTheGen or @JasonDorsey, and don’t forget to include your #generation!

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