Building a Department Store of the Future

We’ve come to the market with an idea that, in many respects, is fairly obvious. It’s very much an effort in investigating and truly trying to understand customer behavior and preference, and understanding that what it is today might be drastically different tomorrow.

Neighborhood Goods is a new type of department store and we’re based in Plano, Texas, and we currently have somewhere between 40 and 50 brands covering all sorts of different categories, anything from kids, to men’s wear, to home goods and otherwise.

So brands come in and some of them just want it to be sort of more integrated into the space, and so it allows for brands like Framebridge to be on the walls, or Sonos to be in the ceilings, or Simplehuman to be in the bathrooms, and we are just here to provide a certain amount of cohesive design and storytelling from our staff.

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We had always talked about the power of community and events, and so we’ve had anything from Equinox to Pure Barre hosting exercise classes here, to meditation classes, to Serena Williams came and launched her size inclusive product line. We’ve had kids writing letters to Santa, all sorts, and that’s what really gets me excited, is seeing people come in and just be excited to be in the room for reasons that extend so far beyond just coming into shop.

For us, it’s about maintaining a very human approach, where we’re never going to try to be the shiniest object in the room. We’re trying to be the most honest and the most human, and that affords us a certain amount of latitude to experiment and make mistakes and learn, but it also allows for us to sort of do things that are really exciting and different and take risks.

I think retail still has a huge role to play, and I think it’s not necessarily something that’s built on sales per square foot or otherwise. It’s thinking of it more from an extremely traditional perspective around what retail can be, where it’s trading in a currency of relevance more than anything else, and speaking to a local community more than anything else. So when you go in, you know that you can trust that, that it’s relevant to you, that it’s going to be exciting, that you’re going to be treated well.

This video is shared by the National Retail Federation. 

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