Columbus: Where Retail Localism is Thriving

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Columbus is home to retail giants like L Brands, Abercrombie & Fitch and DSW Inc.; shopping centers that are dominating the corporate retail sector like Easton Town Center and Polaris Fashion Place; and small business empires like Hot Chicken Takeover, Homage and The Candle Lab, who are advancing the city’s neighborhoods in ways that have never been seen before.

As technology and the way consumers interact with products continues to advance, retailers are being consistently challenged to alter and evolve their marketing strategies and the way they engage with their audience, which makes Columbus the ideal city to test new tactics in retail.

Columbus is known as the Test Market of the U.S.A. and with that title comes unique store experiences, vibrant marketing initiatives and cutting-edge advancements in artificial intelligence, user experience and eCommerce.

A recent partnership between DSW Inc. and Columbus-based W Nail Bar has contributed to the growing concept that the retail experience is about the details, much of which are motivated by the consumers’ local surroundings.

The footwear retailer opened a W Nail Bar mini-salon in its 1200 Polaris Parkway store in an effort to create a unique and engaging experience for their DSW customers who can pause their shopping for a manicure or pedicure while in the store.

This isn’t the only example of retail innovation in Columbus. Joann, a national fabric and craft retailer, recently opened a “learning lab” at 1265 Polaris Parkway. From a Creators’ Studio – an open space intended to foster collaboration and creation – to the sewing machines available for rent, Joann is modernizing an industry and its approach to be proactive with customers. The learning lab features a mobile system for its ‘cut bar’ and is home to the first-ever Pinterest Craft Creator kiosk.

As retailers continue to capitalize on the concept of localism and the opportunities it creates for both small and corporate business, Central Ohio is certain to see an influx of creative concepts that will lead retail’s compass as a key player in the national retail industry.

Retail Summit 2018 will unite industry pioneers from sectors far and wide to discuss what’s next in visual merchandising, logistics, eCommerce, talent and so much more. Interested in attending? Purchase your tickets today.

— The Columbus Chamber of Commerce offers news, information and other resources that are free and available to all businesses at columbus.org— 

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