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Monday, September 20, 2010

Burton Retail Experience

Burton Retail ExperienceDuring our SoHo retail experience tour in June, David Polinchock suggested that we go through the Burton Snowboard store.  He assured me that the Cold Room was not to be missed!

He was right.

[See Customer Experience: In-Store & Online for the introduction to our series which I started detailing in Levi's Retail Experience and lululemon athletica's Retail Experience.]

The Cold Room lives up to its reputation... cold!  Very cold!

Burton cold RoomSee the photo with "cold room" above the door? Notice the door? Doesn't it remind you of a door to a walk-in refrigerator?

Picture a sauna at the gym. Make it bigger and remove the lava stone cooking contraption and the second tier of benches. You get the picture.

When you think of the products that Burton sells - i.e., for cold weather activities - the Cold Room makes brilliant sense.

Plus, it's a conversation piece and a terrific way to get store visitors and customers engaged with the products themselves and in talking about the activities that Burton products enable.

Burton Snow ConditionsTo put the Cold Room into retail experience perspective, did you know that when some of the famous NYC department stores started to sell ski clothing and equipment in the 1930s, they "also had “ski slides” inside their stores where they gave lessons to their customers on the ski equipment they purchased. The ski slides were about 60 feet long with carpet on them and Borax soap crystals poured on top of them to give them the look and feel of a real ski slope. In later years there would be indoor electric ski slides in these stores. They were similar to a treadmill.'

This from New Jersey Skiing Historian, Elizabeth Holste, who contributed New Jersey, The Skiing State: History & Details.

What a way to add to the experience - as does the Cold Room!

As you enter the store, you'll notice a board with snow related information - domestically and internationally. "It's always snowing somewhere", right? Just not in SoHo in June.

Burton SOHOBurton's online presence is intense and goes beyond gear.

You can learn to ride with links to snowboarding locations around the world and Burton programs. [Interestingly, the Hunter Mountain NY Learn To Ride program wasn't available in 2009-2010. Not sure yet about 2011.]

You can meet the 2011 Burton Team.

Find out about Events and learn about the Company.

Locate a Store and join The Community.

Burton is on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

To give you a taste for the Burton aura, check out Let There Be Snow which showcases the Burton 2011 season preview teaser with the latest Burton team riders performing unbelievable tricks…

And, in terms of product introductions, check out Josh Spear Burton X Paul Smith Snowboard...

I look forward to returning to the Burton store in colder weather when I anticipate experiencing more of the online energy and activity in-store.

For those of you with firsthand snowboarding and Burton knowledge, I'd love to hear your impressions.


Pablo Edwards said...

I love that they actually let you test their products for cold weather. Nothing is worse than buying a winter coat and be freezing cold when the snow and winds start coming. I for sure want to check this place out.

CB Whittemore said...

Pablo, do let me know what you think after visiting Burton. It's actually surprising that there aren't more examples such as this one to help 'show off' what cold weather products can do. Unless the expectation is that it will be cold enough outside?

Thanks for visiting.


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