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beth ann kaminkowThe art gallery is a corollary for innovative retail experiences. By Beth Ann Kaminkow. Mass retail: whether grocery, drug, big-box, or convenience, can change the game by taking a close look at a very different variety of retail — the art gallery. What does a purveyor of an art gallery know and get right that most retailers could learn from? A lot. Their goal is to draw a captive audience of repeat visitors, as well as new ones. The intent is to sell art, inventory and deliver an experience. They must continuously innovate to attract visitors and generate buzz.

Context matters, arrangement matters, navigation and flow matter — so much thought and planning goes into each new exhibit, yet most of this is invisible to the end-user. What you experience is the art, the sense of the space, and the way both make you feel. Whether you are an art connoisseur or a novice, the retail environment has the same appeal.

We can easily get stuck and blocked by listing the dramatic differences between an art gallery and mass retail. Or, we can take a moment to suspend reality and embrace the concept to generate new thinking and ideas. The art gallery as a corollary and model for today’s retail serves as a roadmap to more inspired, trip-worthy shopping experiences. We need new frames-of-reference to drive new outcomes in the retail space. So much of Main Street retail is lackluster, commonplace, and uninspired. continue

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