3 Great Retailers That Know How to Get Customers Offline and Through the Door

Driving Foot Traffic to the Store With Retail Experiences

With the rise of ecommerce, many are wondering if physical stores are obsolete. Online only may work for some, but for those looking to avoid the monotony and isolation of scrolling on their screens, frustration when a product arrives looking nothing like what was promised, and the hassle of the return and exchange hamster wheel, there remains a place for you. In a period dominated by screen time, these three stores have created unique retail experiences for people looking to get offline and in stores.


You may have heard of a little Sweden based company called IKEA, which operates in 50 different countries and has nearly 19,000 employees globally. Working under a mission to 'create a better everyday life for the many people,' sustainability is a strong pillar of IKEA's identity. IKEA US's Head of Home Furnishing Identity and Retail Design, Seana Strawn, says "we see tackling climate change as both a big responsibility and an opportunity. It's crucial to future proofing our business."

In our most recent conversation with Strawn, we talked about how IKEA is creating a sustainability focused customer experience beyond their iconic showroom style floor layout through their Buyback & Resell initiative.

In addition to their preexisting resale area, which Strawn says already drives visitation to the store, IKEA launched a Buyback & Resell program in June 2022, a program whereby IKEA provides an online quote to buy back discontinued, showroom, preloved, and damaged products. Once sold, the piece is dropped off at an IKEA store where it is refurbished to become a one-of-a-kind piece. It's then placed in the Circular Hub, a designated space for selling second-hand items at a reduced price and educating customers on environmentalism. IKEA hopes to further expand the hub in the future to "bring people together for workshops, whether it's getting involved in personalizing a piece for yourself, or about education. It's a whole new frontier of interesting, cool retail experiences, starting from the simple idea of putting less things in landfills."

Interested to learn more about the journey back in time and treasure hunt you can experience at an IKEA store? Listen to our full conversation with Seana on our WDCast. Go a step deeper and read our white paper, Can Resale Save the Store, which presents a consumer study on how resale can drive foot traffic to stores across all retail categories!

IKEA Retail Experiences by WD Partners

DICK'S Sporting Goods

DICK'S Sporting Goods began as a fish-and-tackle store in 1948, but has since grown to operating 850 locations and seeing quarter end net sales of $3.1 billion in August 2022.

Named 2022 Retailer of the Year by VMSD, DICK'S is a first-in-class example of the "try-before-you-buy" and experiential retail philosophies. At new DICK'S Sporting Goods House of Sport stores, not only can you find all your favorite sportswear and equipment, but you can fully immerse yourself in the active lifestyle right there in the store. With features like the House of Cleats, The Cage, and an indoor climbing wall, you can test anything out and ask trained staff members detailed product spec questions so that you know exactly what you're getting before walking out the door.

Not to toot our own horn, but we partnered with DICK'S to innovate their customer experience and integrate their in-store and digital offerings. Check out our DICK'S Sporting Goods case study to learn more about our work on their House of Sport store concept with them! Alternatively, listen directly to a member of the DICK'S team talk about the new store format on our WDCast with Toni Roeller, Sr. VP of IN-Store Environment, Visual Merchandising & House of Sport.

DICK'S Sporting Goods Retail Experiences by WD Partners


Launched conveniently before the pandemic in 2019, UpWest is a young brand looking to provide comfort to a generation of people who are stressed out and looking to find an escape in their homes. Though primarily an online retailer, according to Jamie Schisler, Chief Comfort Officer at UpWest, UpWest "believes very strongly in the store business."

Similar to IKEA, UpWest is driving foot traffic to their store with a suitability centered approach. In their New York City SoHo store, UpWest partnered with Scrap NYC, an organization that takes used and damaged clothing and turns it into anything from housing insulation to brand new fabric for new garments. You can find a designated drop off bin in the store, and collections aren’t limited to UpWest products.

Listen to Jamie speak more on UpWest’s store strategy and the way’s that the brand is taking additional measures to promote wellness and sustainability in this WDCast.

UpWest Retail Experiences

Ecommerce hasn't completely won out yet

It’s relieving to know that while many stores are focusing on their ecommerce, there still exists those who recognize the value of a positive in-store shopping experience. By creating new, immersive environments that promote discovery and learning, IKEA, DICK’S Sporting Goods, and UpWest are providing a service that can’t be offered online, thereby driving foot traffic, and revenue, to their stores.

Subscribe to Wayfind

Sign up to get trends and insights from the best thinkers at WD delivered direct to your inbox.

Refer a Friend

Use this link to refer a friend to Wayfind

Share on Social

Share Wayfind on your social networks

Back to Wayfind