Retailers Step Up Shopping Experience (NKE, COH)

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In an effort to claw back some market share from Amazon (AMZN), retailers like Nike Inc. (NKE) and Coach Inc. (COH) are making their brick-and-mortar locations into more than just a place to buy products, MarketWatch reports.

Nike now has a location in New York City with a basketball court, small soccer area and a treadmill for consumers to put the products in action. And if a customer wants to try on clothing, a stylist is on hand in the fitting room to help them. (See also: Is Nike Protecting its Biz with “Equality”?)

“This is the future of retail,” Heidi O’Neill, president of Nike’s direct to consumer department, told MarketWatch. “Gone are the passive days of street traffic. It’s about connecting and welcoming back our customers.”

Coach’s Fifth Avenue New York store and the Regent Street store in London now offer “Coach Workshops,” which provide monogramming and other ways for customers to personalize their products. It’s a store experience that underscores Coach’s modern luxury branding by emphasizing craftsmanship. according to Andre Cohen, president of Coach’s North American and global marketing, who spoke y MarketWatch.

“The visual language and customer experience you see in our product, stores and marketing reflect a consistent point of view, key to the ongoing elevation of the Coach brand,” Cohen said.

Abercrombie Fitch Co. (ANF) is also trying to improve its in-store experience. The retailer, which reports fourth quarter earnings March 2, announced recently that a rebranding effort is driving a new store design that will debut in Ohio on Feb. 17. Abercrombie is aiming for a “unique and personal shopping experience” by offering lounge-like fitting rooms that let customers control lights and music. (See also: Are More Teen Retailers in Trouble?)

The National Retail Federation estimates U.S. retail sales will grow 3.7 percent to 4.2 percent in 2017, boosted by an 8 percent to 12 percent rise in ecommerce spending.

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