What can banking learn from rising cannabis retail?

Experiential, educationally-focused store environments that seamlessly integrate technology are the future of a growing industry

In another example of the rebounding economy and retail resurgence, the country’s largest cannabis company Columbia Care has announced a significant investment in its network of brick-and-mortar stores. The company’s new storefront brand Cannabist is opening three stores in April and May and will expand to 80 stores nationwide over the next 24 months.

As outlined in Ad Age, the Cannabist locations are inspired by both hospitality and the Apple retail experience and designed to support transactions by elevating education and experience. Store design encourages employees and customers to engage in conversations that enhance the shopping experience, whether through product recommendations or more general information-sharing.

“What we want to do is create an experience that was driven off of this concept of empathetic education,” according to Jesse Channon, Columbia Care’s Chief Growth Officer. “We wanted beautiful spaces that would feel very welcoming and approachable.”

Integral to the store experience – and in support of customers’ discovery and education – Cannabist stores deploy technology that serves as a bridge across the retail ecosystem and enables a seamless shopping experience from anywhere. Even more, employees undergo extensive training so they’re able to support, consult and advise customers – not just sell. 

The Cannabist store design and investment in its physical channel reflect consumers’ desire for personalized retail experiences that deliver trusted advice – and provides a powerful platform to meet their needs well into the future. “Since the company’s founding in 2013, we have been listening to and learning about the… customers and stakeholders we serve. Over and over again, the market has been searching for expertise and trust,” says Nicholas Vita, Columbia Care CEO. 

Channon agrees, noting the future-facing role of their new retail brand. He says, “Cannabist is not only a reflection of where we are now, and all of the markets we serve, but it is also a commitment to where we are going. [We] can grow with an ever-changing industry… and serve as the platform for continuous innovation.”

As the financial industry faces a shifting post-Covid consumer landscape and reimagines the role of its physical branch networks, Cannabist and other examples like it can provide fresh insight and inspiration. To learn more about how your bank or credit union can deliver retail experiences that support more educational, consultative, and valuable relationships, email info@adrenalineagency.com

Photo Credit: Cannabist