Retail environments are a part of life and everywhere you look. What happens when you are faced with having a new store opening in your town and for the majority of your country what it sells is illegal – welcome to California!
The landscape is changing, hold on to your hats as what you know is now becoming what you thought you knew. If you didn’t know, recreational sales of Marijuana are legal in California from 1st January 2018 and they are after your business…
The anecdotal expectation of the target market is 19 – 24 yr old males, regular user and socially immobile and of low attainment…. wrong.
But why I hear you ask? Well, the key target audience in this soon to be “huge” market is mature customers with high levels of disposable income and will typically be non-users currently. The pleasing aesthetics, welcoming environment make it more akin to stepping inside a Walmart than meeting a drug dealer.
Photo: Courtesy of MedMen
Gone are the dark, insalubrious environments identifiable by the bulletproof glass, tinted windows and security bars. Enter open spaces, natural light, spacious design and open floor plans. You would think you were in either Starbucks, Whole Foods or even Apple. The Apple reference has particular relevance as the Co-Founder of MedMen (Andrew Modlin) told the LA Times that beautifully crafted Visual Merchandising and iPad’s at every turn is going to bring this business to the fore. You will see sleek wooden displays, staff on hand to consult at every turn – this is no longer a dingy place.
In-store experience will be key in this market and would follow the “upsell” model employed in many coffee shops and this sector is sure to deliver a high capital return for those brave enough to invest in physical space and what are going to be concept stores.
Are these new retail environments going to push the design norms and create a truly mind-blowing experience that aims to distance itself from its products less than glowing past?
Prepare yourself for the “green rush”!
Just think about how the UK high-street has changed with the likes of Anne Summers. There was a time their products would have been sold in dark shops, hidden in brown bags and customers prayed no one saw them. Fast forward 40 years or so and you have a £100m turnover business with 140 UK stores.