Are Offline Experiences Worth Offering As An Online Brand?

May 13, 2022
1 minute

It seems like every major DTC brand is opening up an offline store. Should your brand do the same?

As the cost of, uh, everything is skyrocketing, more online brands are opening up offline shops. And larger DTC brands are quickly growing their physical presence.For instance, Warby Parker is opening 35 stores following the pandemic. And Allbirds just opened a new 7,100-square foot storefront in NYC's Flatiron District.

Similarly, smaller brands are starting to experiment with free-standing shops as well.

Parade, for example, tested its first-ever pop-up in August of 2021. And after an incredible offline debut, the online intimates brand has decided to keep the physical location permanently open.

But is it worth the investment?

We'll be real – staffing will likely be your greatest expense (and one of your larger challenges).  

For one, hiring in-person staff means a big investment in training. Then, to retain these folks, you also need to offer fair wages, pay on time, and provide opportunities for advancement. It adds up quickly. 

Not to mention, retail is notorious for turnover. A staggering 76% of part-time employees will turnover this year, making hiring and training a constant to-do. 

But yes – the offline experience is still worth it. 

Over 80% of GenZ consumers prefer shopping in-store. And 3 out of 4 say a "well-curated store experience" is important to them.

Not to mention that in 2021, ecommerce lost ground to brick-and-mortar stores, per the NYT. Meaning, shopping in person isn't going away, and it's definitely worth looking into.

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