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Even as we saw a shift toward e-commerce shopping during the pandemic, brick-and-mortar retail stores still dominate in overall sales volume. As consumers are increasingly returning to the in-person shopping experience, brick-and-mortar businesses are banking on the power of experiential retail.

Experiential retail refers to the creation of offerings and experiences within physical retail stores that create customer interaction and engagement beyond browsing and purchasing products. In fact, when done well, experiential retail puts sales second and creates a unique environment that builds brand loyalty first.

Take Nike Rise for example – this concept takes immersive in-store shopping to a whole new level. Customers leverage the “Nike experiences” feature via the Nike app to create a personalized shopping journey that connects them to sport, community and each other by allowing customers to book exclusive events, fitness classes, product customization services and more. Casper Sleep allows customers to book private nap appointments to properly test products. And the House of Vans in L.A. features an immersive art gallery and studio that offers free art workshops.

Those of us in commercial real estate have a unique opportunity to create competitive advantage by working hand-in-hand with retail brands to create environments that foster brand loyalty.