A destination store is a retail operation that consumers find attractive for particular reasons and are therefore willing to make a special trip solely for the purpose of shopping at that location. Typically, destination stores are unique in certain respects in order to entice shoppers to come to them, even if the distance or location is not convenient. Smaller retailers also gravitate toward areas surrounding a destination store in hopes that consumers will filter into their shops as well.
When most people think of a day-trip destination, they often think of recreational locations, like lakes, zoos, or amusement parks. Certain stores, however, pride themselves in inspiring consumers to make day trips just to visit their locations to browse, have fun, and hopefully, purchase a thing or two. These destination stores generally offer shoppers something unique and appealing that make the establishments fun to visit.
The consumer draw for a destination store can be the type of merchandise that is sold or the distinctive way in which the merchandise is marketed. For instance, a furniture store might sell one-of-a-kind pieces or a particular style of furniture that is not available through any other markets. In that instance, the special goods that are sold could mark that store as a destination store, a place that consumers will go out of their way to visit.
By the same token, other stores may not sell particularly unique merchandise but will display whatever they do sell in such a way as to create a special attraction. For instance, a sports store might not sell goods that are particularly unique, but the store could have interactive displays such as batting cages, basketball courts, or even a makeshift ski slope to try out a new pair of skis. In all likelihood, such a place would be considered a destination store because of its fun and distinctive environment.
A retail operation that wishes to become a destination store might try any number of tactics to draw customers. Aside from exclusive goods or elaborate displays, stores might attempt to lure consumers with deeply discounted merchandise or an exceptional variety of specialty items. For instance, a mass merchandiser could offer extreme discounts that no other store can match, or a seller of window treatments might offer an unbelievable selection of styles and colors. These efforts could be very useful in earmarking a particular retailer as a destination store.
Oftentimes, destination stores also offer other services to consumers to further their status as singular destinations. For example, some destination retailers might have on-site restaurants or offer babysitting services. These conveniences often make consumers more likely to make long-distance trips to visit a particular store.
Smaller retail shops frequently spring up around destination stores. Although these other retailers don’t expect to compete with the larger merchandiser, they do hope to capture a bit of extra business. Usually, a destination store generates quite a bit of foot traffic, and the retailers that secure nearby locations hope that some of those customers will wander over to their stores as part of their overall shopping trips.