Sep 20, 2018

The Instagramification of retail

Erica Pandey, author of @Work

Away's store in NYC. Photo via Away on Twitter.

The big upside to brick-and-mortar shopping has always been instant gratification — you buy and take your stuff home immediately. But now retail startups are hard at work developing another perk: "Instagramification."

The big picture: New retailers are making sure millennials and Gen Zers have a reason to come into their stores — with state-of-the-art interior design as a backdrop to artsy Instagram posts.

New features showing up in hip stores around New York City and Los Angeles include brightly painted walls with catchy slogans and photoshoot-ready nooks decorated with props. A not-incidental added plus: Social posts are free advertising.

What we're seeing: The trend is common among companies that were digital first and got into brick-and-mortar second. They sit in stark contrast to the flickering fluorescents and tired beige stucco of old-school retailers.

  • Away, a luggage startup founded in 2015, now has five stores and several celebrity partnerships. It sees its stores as “profitable billboards," co-founder Jen Rubio said at Recode's Code Commerce conference in New York this week. Rubio said Away judges the success of its stores by how many Instagram posts they inspire.
  • Warby Parker, which also started online, collaborates with artists to outfit its stores with custom murals. Its sunglasses are organized by color. Both are perfect Insta backgrounds.
  • Melody Ehsani, a jewelry maker, does something similar in her stores, with neon signs and painted angel wings on walls that you can step into for a picture-perfect moment.

Go deeper: Your Entire City Is an Instagram Playground Now (CityLab)

Go deeper

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
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  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
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Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.