Experiential retail is on trend this summer. For traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, creating elaborate instore experiences is way to offer consumers something that isn’t readily available through e-commerce. Now, a legacy retailer has launched its second installment in a series of changing instore experiences.
 
STORY at Macy’s, which the brand bills as the “store to explore” within 36 Macy’s locations nationwide, unveils its second experiential concept: Outdoor STORY. This iteration is a collaboration with Dick’s Sporting Goods and Miracle-Gro and will run until September, offering Macy’s customers an outdoor-inspired playground that places a focus on entertaining, bringing the outside indoors, and enjoying recreational activities.
 
STORY at Macy’s explores the theme through a mix of curated merchandise from more than 70 brands, dynamic store design, and community-focused event programming which ranges from indoor gardening workshops to outdoor activities, such as kayaking on the Hudson River. Outdoor STORY marks a set of firsts for Macy’s, as the national department store partners with a sporting goods retailer and a gardening brand to bring the theme to life.
 
“When Rachel Shechtman, Founder of STORY, came to me with the concept, I paused, because I wouldn’t have thought about partnering with another retailer to sell outdoor products at Macy’s,” says Jeff Gennette, Chairman and CEO of Macy’s. “However, as she presented her ideas and the merchandise her team was envisioning, it made a lot of sense. I reached out to Ed Stack, Chairman & CEO of Dick’s, knowing that this would be a first for them as well—to share their exclusive private brand assortment in another major retailer—but he also saw the creative vision and we had the deal done and partnership launched in less than two months.”
 
Rachel Shechtman, Macy’s Brand Experience Officer and Founder of STORY, adds, “I think people may be surprised and intrigued by our partnerships, and that is exactly what we wanted. We want to show both consumers, as well as businesses, that collaboration is the new competition; bringing together brands as storytellers to add authority and authenticity to a subject matter, like we are doing with Dick’s and Miracle-Gro, benefits both the customer and the business. The timing felt right to lean on each brand’s respective strengths to empower new modes of collaboration and learning.”
 
Outdoor STORY will further support the Macy’s brand experience team’s test-and-learn approach via a variety of cross-merchandising strategies and event programming that showcases the community of each brand.
 
Overall, phase two of STORY seems like a different sort of instore experience. In particular, it’s interesting that the brand tailored the promotion to the season. The collaboration between two primarily physical retailers is unusual, so it will be exciting to see what the results are for each brand.
 

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