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STORY Founder Lays Out New Retail Narrative at Licensing Expo

Rachel Shechtman, founder of STORY and Macy’s brand experience officer, kicked off Day 2 of Licensing Expo with a keynote discussion on the role experiences play in retail.

The keynote presentation, “Agility at Scale: Rachel Shechtman Shares Insights from the Launch of STORY at Macy’s,” detailed how the STORY retail model has come to life at Macy’s and explored how storytelling-driven events are addressing evolving consumer expectations while driving foot traffic.

“If digital media and editorial companies tell stories with articles and pictures, we tell stories with merchandising and events,” said Shechtman in her keynote.

The presentation laid out STORY’s unique business model that puts narrative aspects into the shopping experience. STORY’s experiential retail efforts aim to highlight collaborations and unique shopping opportunities in place of the traditional brick-and-mortar retail experience. The company’s novel approach has already seen success with partnerships with brands like Crayola, MAC and Levi’s.

Shechtman explained her experience working with brands as one of constant testing and experimentation. She credited her partners for being willing to take chances in spite of unguaranteed results.

“I tell [partners], ‘We’ll be your guinea pigs, we’ve got to give it a try anyway,” continued Shechtman.

Shechtman ended her speech with a call to arms for the licensing industry. She asked the collection of industry thought leaders to follow in the success of STORY’s collaborations and start expanding how they see the traditional retail experience.

“As an industry, I’m challenging us not to look at sales per square foot, but to experience per square foot,” she said.

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