Retail Brands Center Customer Experiences with New Formats, New Partnerships

From collaborations to in-store pop-ups, how brands like Target and Macy’s are calling consumers home for the holidays

A renewed focus on driving positive customer experiences post-COVID has many of the top retail brands creating new in-store experiences and expanding omnichannel options for shoppers, just ahead of the crucial holiday shopping season. Complicating matters further this fall, the supply chain crunch is expected to put even more pressure on retail brands. An astonishing “64% of retail executives surveyed by Deloitte voiced concern over packages arriving for the holidays” according to Business Insider’s article on the holiday shopping season. Expecting even more in-store traffic, retail brands are ready to deliver and delight.

Target’s CMO Cara Sylvester says creating meaningful customer experiences is part of the brand’s DNA: “Our story is evolving to reflect what our guests expect from Target in this new world, including a deeper connection to what matters most to them.” This mission includes smaller store formats and shop-in-shops, like those coming from partnerships with Apple and Ulta Beauty. “If it’s a great experience in which people find what they want and get good service, they’ll likely go back even if they continue shopping online for certain items,” according to Steve Sandove, senior advisor at Mastercard, spotlighted by PYMTs.

Also getting in on smaller formats, Macy’s subsidiary Bloomingdale’s is leveraging its curated Bloomie’s store in Fairfax, Virginia to “deliver everything [shoppers] love about Bloomingdale’s in a highly edited, convenient, and unexpected way,” according to Bloomingdale’s CEO Tony Spring. This 20,000-square-foot curated store also serves as a trend spotter for larger stores and sets the stage for more customer-centric experiences. Not to be outdone in the new format game, Walmart-owned online outdoor retailer Moosejaw is opening its new 6,000 foot store in Bentonville, Arkansas, where its parent company, is headquartered.

Expanding options for consumers is critical as the economy rebounds and foot traffic at retail locations remains relevant, especially among younger generations – this holiday season and beyond. New formats empower all brands to test and learn and provide consumer experiences at the point of need. For more information on ways financial brands can make the most of retail banking formats and leverage location for more connection and growth, stay tuned to Believe in Banking as it tracks the big trends impacting financial services or contact us at

Photo Credit: Target, July 21, 2021