story is a retail store based in new york city that “takes the point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery and sells things like a store.” started by rachel shechtman, every one to two months story chooses a different concept and then redesigns the store and restocks the merchandise around that concept, trend or theme. the idea is to tell a story through merchandise and constantly connect with consumers in a new way. past themes have included “home for the holidays,” “new york” and “made in america.”
why: i think story is an amazing example of disrupting traditional models (in this case retail) and making every day experiences more interactive. story is curating content through merchandise, constantly re-thinking design and inventing new ways to connect with their customers. given that brands have a hard time getting customer to watch videos longer than 15 seconds, why shouldn't retail adjust to shorter attention spans as well?
also: they find interesting corporate partners that are relevant to the concept at hand to sponsor areas of the store during that time (and get branding in return, #winwin). the most recent example is partnering with intel for their current story about style and technology. this is a *super* smart way to help large organizations experiment with new ways to engage their customers.
but: their email and website design is pretty flat. and i think that for how innovative and interactive they are in store, they could be better leveraging social media to expand their in-store community online.
long story short: we know people are expecting more from their online interactions with stores and retailers, but they’re expecting more offline as well. very few physical stores have changed the way they sell their products and story isn’t just doing that, they’re doing it really well.
ps: i saw the founder, rachel, speak last year and she was awesome. here's her ted talk.