The idea of turning every experience into a social media–worthy moment has also extended to the retail space. In July, Sonos opened up its flagship retail store in New York. Instead of just your regular storefront, the location is made up of soundproof pods, each one decorated like a living space. Potential customers get to experience Sonos' sound in the comfort of a "home," instead of just having to pick some speakers off a shelf. The store is decorated with artwork from Mark Stamaty, Thibaud Herem and Mark Chamberlain, as well as an eight-foot portrait of producer Rick Rubin.
In June, Turner-owned sports-media company Bleacher Report teamed up with streetwear brand Kith to create the Bleacher Report X Kith #BR99 pop-up shop in New York. The carefully curated store, which was only open for nine days, sold limited edition Bleacher Report X Kith clothing, and summer items like water bottles and towels. It also sold Kith's classic ice cream and cereal concoctions, and had special programming each night.
"I think Gen Z, while they obviously stay a lot in the digital realm, I think they crave experiences," said Bennett Spector, vice president of brand strategy at Bleacher Report. "For us, this was about taking the digital presence that we have and going physical, which isn't exactly the norm for media companies right now, but it is the future. People want to connect with the brands that they are engaging with online."
Spector said the company wanted to be where their fans were, and work with a brand that already has clout in the sports lifestyle space such as Kith. Creating a physical space allowed Bleacher Report's team to talk to their readers in person. The company has plans to expand pop-ups to different brands and other cities.
"It was about building a physical representation of our brand, and bringing it to the people," Spector said.