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If You Give People This 'Discovery' — They'll Buy From You Instead of Amazon

Creating a unique retail experience doesn't have to be a big flashy production. We're all just looking for a story that makes us feel good about ourselves.

learn more about Frances Dodds

By Frances Dodds

LuLu's Cuts & Toys | Facebook

Key Takeaways

  • Shopping in-person, there's no algorithm serving you more of what you already know about; the real world is unpredictable—and that's exactly what younger shoppers want.
  • As Gen Z builds their buying power, the biggest investments local retailers can make is in their brick-and-mortar locations.
  • This ability to discover something and to feel connected to a local community is an experience. And it gives the customer a story to tell their friends as they justify the purchase.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Last week, I saw the sad news that one of my favorite shops was closing its doors after 22 years of business. Lulu's Cuts and Toys, which sold kids' toys and haircuts, was a mainstay in the Park Slope neighorhood of Brooklyn. I don't have any children of my own, but Lulu's was always go-to destination for my nieces' and nephew's birthdays and last-minute baby shower foraging. The place was stuffed with soft, surprising things — a cozy haven for unique and nostalgic discoveries: cute vegetable pun onesies, the classic whoopie cushion, stretchy rubber rainbow-colored ramen noodles, assorted Harry Potter wizard wands, etc.

The business announced its closure with a note taped to the window (and its digital counterpart, a post on Instagram), signed by the owner Brigitte Prat, and her daughter Lulu, the store's namesake. It read, in part:

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