A concept store is a retail store that goes beyond simply selling products and instead appeals to a general sense of lifestyle by offering products to match the desires of those involved in a particular social scene. Rather than simply offering a selection of standard products for purchase, this type of store sells products that appeal to a particular segment of consumer. This particular segment, and the approach taken to appeal to it, can vary quite a bit among stores. A concept store typically has a single vision for the group it is appealing to, such as high fashion, urban fashion, or hipster fashion.
While there is no single form a concept store typically takes, in general it is designed to appeal to a certain segment of the populace. A store that is meant to appeal to those with an interest in high fashion, for example, might offer clothing by well-known designers, as well as shoes, perfume, accessories, and even electronics that are all established brands. These products would typically be those seen in fashion and entertainment magazines, and inventory would likely change frequently to stay in fashion. This separates such a store from a retail business that usually offers many of the same products from one year to the next.
The design and aesthetic of a concept store is also likely to be quite distinct, unlike a standard department store or retail outlet store. Since the store itself has a general concept with regard to the merchandise available, the design and decoration of the store often matches that concept. A store that is meant to appeal to “urban” or “street” trends might have bare brick walls, perhaps decorated with artistic graffiti and a design that reinforces the concept of the store. On the other hand, a concept store for “hipster” culture might feature dark walls, stark lighting, and play independent music that is popular in hipster circles.
A concept store can also be tied to a particular individual, usually a celebrity or someone involved in the entertainment industry. This type of store usually uses the name of the celebrity in advertising or the name of the store, and sells merchandise associated with that person, such as clothes or brands worn by the celebrity. Since this type of store is often designed around a particular fashion, social structure, or cultural trend, these stores may need to reinvent themselves to ensure they remain up-to-date on popular fashions.