New Retail Concepts


New Retail Store Concepts that can be applied to Hospital Gift Shops By Lilly Stamets


Due to the rise of ecommerce, hospital gift shops must reinvent themselves in order to be competitive in today’s
retail environment. A concept store is a place where new ideas are put together to enhance the shopper
experience and produce more sales.  What are the new concepts and how can we apply them to a hospital gift
shops?

New ideas that enhance the customer experience are centered around Convenience, Service and Story Telling.
The leading examples can be found at Amazon Go, Target, Macy’s and Nordstrom.

1.  Convenience:  The speed of shopping is a challenge for many of our customers who are short on time. The
“grab and go” concept is very popular as is BOPIS “buy online and pick up in store.” Watch Amazon Go for the
“grab and go” concept and Kohl’s Department store for Amazon returns.  BOPIS is now available at Home Depot,
Nordstrom, Macy’s, Target, Walmart and many other retailers.

Lesson for hospital gift shops:  Add “grab and go” convenience to your customer service mix. Allow customers to
pick up a $1.00 item ( bottled water, candy, newspaper, etc.) and slip the money to you/ or a jar without waiting in
line.  Add “no waiting” features to your service.

If you have your own hospital gift shop website, offer customers to buy online and pick up (BOPIS) when they
come to the hospital.  We already offer this service to our e-commerce customers when we deliver their order to
the patient or staff member in our hospitals.

2. Service only, No Inventory: Nordstrom has opened up “service hubs” concept stores for customers to pick up
on-line orders, have merchandise altered, tailored or pressed. These service stores offer handbag and shoe
repair.  Some locations offer manicure services.

Lesson for hospital gift shops: Create a “hub concept” in your gift shop. Offer your HR departments the ability for
new employees to pick up their logo lanyard or badge accessories in the hospital gift shop. Coordinate with local
retailers and list all services ( laundry, coffee, bookstores, hotels, transportation etc. ) within walking distance of
your hospital.

3.  Story Telling:  Tell a story to sell a story! Macy’s has opened “Story” departments within Macy’s department
stores. After several seasons of fashion and style mistakes, Macy’s has landed on a concept store called “Story.”  
Macy Story selects a new theme every two months and curate’s product to communicate the story. Check out
their latest themes of “Color, Outdoor and now School of Style.”

Lesson for hospital gift shops: We go the market to discover and buy the latest merchandise and trends.  Don’t
forget to tell that story to your staff and customers on your return from market.   Our staff and volunteers can tell
the story to our customers only if we have done our jobs as buyers and managers to tell the story to our
associates.

Select themes and merchandise that will sell/ turn within two months so that the gift shop stays new and exciting
for the customers and staff.

Experimenting with new retail concepts keeps our hospital gift shops healthy. Regenerating our idea of what our
customers want will enhance our merchandise selection and services offered. Studying other retailers helps us
stay on top of what our customers expect from our hospital gift shops
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Save the Date! Be sure to mark your calendars for 2020 Gift Markets. Jan. 8-12 Dallas Market Center Jan. 14-21
Americas Mart (Atlanta) Jan. 26-30 Las Vegas Market