By Michael Pankowski

It’s well known that Gen Z likes to shop online. But what may be surprising is how much Gen Z also enjoys shopping in-person. In fact, 70% of Gen Zers plan to make most of their holiday purchases in-store this year. Why? Gen Zers value in-person experiences to balance out their online socializing, as well as to give them content for their posts. So it’s important for brands to make their brick-and-mortar locations not just stores, but experiences, as 56% of Gen Zers said a fun in-store experience impacts where they shop

Need ideas? There’s a number of ways a brand could turn a store into an experience. If you sell coffee machines, set up a DIY coffee maker in your store where customers can brew their own coffee and enjoy it in the lounge. If you sell basketball equipment, set up a hoop and have customers shoot for free gear. Just make sure Gen Zers have a good time, and that the experience is TikTok-worthy. 

Or, take a page from some of the world’s biggest brands. Nike’s “House of Innovation” specialty stores in NYC, Paris and Shanghai tap into creator culture with Nike By You, where shoppers can customize their Nike gear. Vans, with a megastore in Los Angeles, is appealing to Gen Z with a shopping experience that includes a skate shop, art gallery and art workshops. In Shanghai, TX Huaihai is an entire mall focused on catering to Gen Z, beginning with “Youth Energy Centre” emblazoned on its front; the pop-up stores from online brands; and the steady pace of influencer parties.

Gen Z isn’t just having an impact on retail; in our November issue, we explore this generation’s interests and influences across media, gaming, social issues and more. Start here: A New Generation Has Arrived.