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Chicago Retail Highlights – Crate & Barrel, Parachute Home, and AT&T Serve Up Inspired Environments

McMillanDoolitle is based in Chicago – which is also home to a wide and inspiring breadth of retail companies and stores. Our team visits stores frequently and leads immersive study tours showcasing new, innovative, and best in class retailers as part of our strategic innovation process for our clients around the world. This week we highlight a few concepts that offer a peek into what’s inspiring us in Chicagoland retail.  If you’re interested in a scheduling a custom retail study tour to advance your global retail innovation goals, simply contact us.

Read along for a “virtual tour” of Crate & Barrel, Parachute Home, and AT&T’s Michigan Avenue flagship.

Crate & Barrel’s Lincoln Park Location Executes Inspiring Vignettes

Crate & Barrel is known for its product storytelling expertise, and the Chicago-based company’s Lincoln Park location does not disappoint with its inspiring interiors and finished room vignettes.

The company has also made significant post-pandemic strides in enabling a seamless omnichannel experience, complete with QR codes that allow customers to view more detailed product information. In-house designers are also available for in-store and virtual consultation, leveraging photorealistic 2D floor plans and 3D renderings to provide relevant product recommendations and drive consumer satisfaction and loyalty.

omnichannel integration

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omnichannel integration

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Parachute Home Promotes a Luxurious Lifestyle

Direct to consumer native Parachute Home offers a brand-building experience in its Chicago Armitage Avenue store. We compared this store to the brand’s pop-up in Nordstrom last summer, linked here. The store colors and vignettes are frequently refreshed to tell a seasonal story.  An in-store touchscreen enables customers to scroll through an endless aisle of user-generated content.  To personalize the shopping experience, the photo reel can also be filtered by color, type, and style.

Chicago's Parachute Home

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AT&T’s Michigan Avenue Flagship Fosters a Brand Community

The AT&T flagship on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile is a brand temple that uses engaging experiences to foster a consumer-brand relationship in a segment not usually known for high levels of affinity. The store theme rotates seasonally, and in-store events are held to celebrate them. The theme is often unrelated to AT&T’s products and focused on highlighting local interests in the community.

The most recent program is AT&T’s Dream in Black campaign which highlights Black Future Makers – influential leaders that impact culture and make a positive impact in their communities. The store integrates themes into the customer experience technology – from a massive augmented reality exhibit to virtual reality headsets and robots that invite customers to play.

AT&T’s Dream in Black campaign

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Ava Buechel

Ava provides market and consumer research, planning, and analysis support for McMillanDoolittle retail consulting projects. Her experience in marketing, digital transformation, brand strategy, and retail innovation brings an updated perspective in the fast-paced business climate of today.

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