Where do the new trends grow?
Where do you go to experience everyday habits in a new way, through new cultures? The choise of our inspirational trip was obvious. We went to New York.
Landing in the trend capital of the world we are greeted by a winter wonderland we are not quite prepared for. Snowy streets and a slight traffic chaos means that the easiest way to get around the city is by foot. But we know where we’re going. Our partner Active Display Scandinavia who are joining us on the trip has done a great research and found a bunch of gems that we tick off one by one. First stop is one of the many corner shops where the Manhattan residents go grocery shopping.
The sense of a marketplace
The contrast between the street’s winter cold and the greeting warmth inside the shop is an experience in itself. Of course, because of the difference in teperature, but also in the visual. The lighting is dimmed and directed to the fruit and vegetables stacked in wooden boxes. You get the feeling of walking around at a marketplace, a feeling of actuality. “This, you just have to taste, it’s a really good variety.” A shop assistent shows up next to us, offering cut apple bites. We taste, chat a bit about different apple varieties and leave the shop with a refilld knowledge of apples and a lot of new ideas about how we want to buy our food.
The US has always been a pioneer when it comes to retail trends. Just look at the large supermarket concepts ICA Maxi and Stora Coop. American counterparts were established on the other side of the Atlantic ocean long before these two became a common “once a week” -destination in Europe. Today, the the most talked about upcoming trends – including Retailtainment and Experience Economy – are growing both in the small individual stores and in the larger food chains that we visit in Manhattan and Brooklyn. It’s all about experience, inspiration and added value.
A journey in mind and memory
Millennials – born in the late 70’s and younger – want experiences and inspiration. Otherwise, they might as well order their goods online and use the time for something more fun. And walking around at the combined restaurant and grocery store Eataly on Fifth Avenue, I feel it’s absolutely worth the time. The Italian groceries are displayed in a very appetizing way in the same area as tables for the customers to sit down for a bite to eat. Both the scents and the environment reminiscent of holiday – Sicily, Rome, a square in Florence – memories that you happily revive at the cheese counter and tomato sauce shelf.
The sum of impressions from our week in New York is all about experiences. Of how much inspiration means for the desire to buy, and how a created atmosphere can build an experience that you simply cannot get at your computer at home, or in a traditional supermarket with white fluorescent light domes.