I’m back! Unfortunately I’ve spent a couple of weeks forced to ground with a prehistoric illness and had to wait for what possessed my body to leave. I’m now ready to share my retail fairy dust again.

Kicking off the first of many retail tales I absorbed on the whirlwind Westfield Retail Study Tour is a weird kind of wonderful.

The most engaging retail experiences transport shoppers to a wonderland where you venture beyond time and space.  To offer an immersive, 360-degree experience, curating products and services with authenticity and heart, is to provide the ultimate in storytelling.

Cabela’s and American Girl are two great storytellers who have earned cult-like following for good reason. They have nailed the branded retail experience with style and pizzazz.

Chapter 1 – Cabela’s

No country comes close to rivalling Americans for ownership of free world and patriotism and Cabela’s embraces these themes wholeheartedly. My experience there was nothing short of life changing. A first for me was the greeter station at the entrance of the store where you were asked to check in your firearms. 

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Fire arms Check-In Station

Even driving into the supergiant car park you start to feel you are Living the American Dream. Hunting, Fishing and Outdoors but not in an FCO or Hunting & Fishing kind of way. This is passion brought to life at every touch point on the path to purchase and every one of those touch points becomes a storytelling experience.

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Did I mention patriotism?

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One of the largest categories, and a destination attraction was the firearms department. It included a Gun Library and a Handheld Gun section but heck my favourite was the Youth Gun category.

The depth and breadth of range with crystal clear good/better/best ranging strategies engages you whether you are a novice or an enthusiast.

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Ladies’ shooting accessories. Yes they come in pink but they are also under the Cabela’s house brand.

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A new hand gun, just take a number and speak to one of the trained specialists.

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Ammo - pallet stacks of the stuff at everyday low prices.

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Customer throughout the life cycle – upgrade your kit or get cash for your guns

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Heck you can refuel at the café before coming back for more.

And it wasn’t just your hard core hunters stocking up on ammo and camouflage.  I particularly enjoyed the mum, dad and two girls under eight years who were buying some new pink shooting gear for mum and Barbie fishing rods and pop guns for the kids.  Also wandering the aisle were guys stocking up for the boys’ fishing trip and tramping expedition and a university archery team getting kitted out for an upcoming competition. The range of engaged shoppers were united not by a demographic but as a community of interest. This is a destination location and it is not be beyond the imagination to think people had travelled hours for a day at Cabela’s and were enjoying their best day out ever.

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At the other end of the spectrum is American Girl. Girly, girl, empowerment, rich history and shaping future aspirations sit at the heart of this magnificent branded experience. I’ll leave you with a tiny visual taster of what’s in store in next week’s blog….

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….to be continued.

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