Is this the start of something different in retail within the health & wellbeing sector?
Blackmores opened their first ‘flagship’ store at Westfield Bondi Junction in Sydney yesterday. It’s the first of it’s kind for the vitamin and supplement company, in which it aims to offer a full ‘wellbeing experience’. Blackmores launched the store with a party, inviting celebrities, media and bloggers along to celebrate.
Not only stocking Blackmores products, it will also be home to rooms for private consultations with qualified naturopaths, a modern ‘Mindful Ocean’ system to assess mindfulness, as well as a ‘Wellbeing Bar’ for drink and food samples and testing.
David Fenlon, the Managing Director for Blackmores Australia and New Zealand said, “Our new flagship store will provide a personalised experience for our customers to take control of and further invest in their health. We know there is a lot of confusing information out there which is why we want to personally help Australians on their journey to wellbeing through advice and education.
“The new flagship store is a unique prototype that takes retail into a new health space, offering the next-gen of interactive retailing whereby consumers are treated to an integrated offering of service and product.”
Mr Fenlon’s comments indicate a shift in traditional retailing for the health and wellbeing sector. We don’t have to look far to find other examples, with other brands such as Apple and their Genius Bars’ as well as Lorna Jane, with 12 ‘Active Living Rooms’ open across Australia. Retailing is changing as we know it.
With online sales booming, it was only time before brands caught on. Opening stores that enhance a customers experience with the brand, offering expertise, lifestyle or interactive features not only increases sale opportunities, but good publicity, brand awareness and word of mouth publicity among consumers.
An example of this is Blackmores innovative ‘Mindful Ocean’. The ‘Mindful Ocean’, designed in consultation with Swinburne University of Technology, uses sensors that detect brain activity,will provide a four-minute personalised session showcasing how the mind interacts between levels of relaxation and calm verses active thinking.
“The ‘Mindful Ocean’ gives consumers the opportunity to assess their ability to find mindfulness, and as a result, begin to take control of their cognitive wellbeing,” Mr Fenlon said.
The store also feature zones for personalised conversations and advice, including an interactive B Bottle activation with weekly wellbeing questions for customers to physically answer, and Wellbeing Bar for customers to sample food products, starting with the newly launched Blackmores’ Superfoods range.
What do you think of these new retail experiences?