As urban areas flourish, more and more experiential retail is popping up and Raleigh is no exception. Experiential retail means that there is more happening than simply product being sold. The idea is that a retailer offers consumers a chance to buy an experience, rather than just an object or service. Studies are showing that new generations are looking to buy an experience and are willing to spend a great deal more money on a place that offers a certain vibe or extra service, rather than buying the average product on the shelf.
These retailers below are selling products that have a bigger purpose. From supporting local artisans, to building partnerships with makers in other countries, these local shops are making a difference in our city and in other parts of the world. As these local shops thrive, that means our community thrives! Shopping local keeps money in our community, and shopping through these retailers does just that! So without further ado, here are our top 5 picks for experiential retail in Raleigh!
- The Flourish Market: https://www.theflourishmarket.com/
Photo by: The News and Observer
In 2015, The Flourish Market owner, Emily Sexton, left her corporate career as a Vice President of Communications and Change Management for an Investment Bank, and decided to transfer her skills over to help win people over to the idea of using their purchasing power for good. What started as a mobile store in an old uniform delivery truck, has now transformed into a gorgeous brick and mortar store on 713 Tucker St.
The Flourish Market wins us over daily by sharing personal stories and behind the scenes on their social media, partnering with other local retailers, and by selling beautiful goods made by beautiful women. Their business currently partners with 50+ brands that work all over the world, providing dignified jobs and fair wages to inspiring artisans and makers in vulnerable communities. Shopping at The Flourish Market not only supports makers in communities where it could be hard to make money, but also supports economic growth in our own community. Check out their store front or shop their website!
2) Raleigh Provisions: http://raleighprovisions.com/
Photo by: Raleigh Provisions
Pretty new to the Downtown Raleigh area is our number 2 pick: Raleigh Provisions. It is a corner shop full of North Carolina specialty food, wine, beer and custom-made gift baskets. Raleigh Provisions is your one stop shop for all North Carolina artisan goods. The shop is a place for getting to know North Carolina’s food and beverage market and the people making it happen.
From local beer to artisan chocolate to fresh eggs, all your local favorites are sold here!
All items they sell are carefully selected for quality and transparency of ingredients, as well. Local goods often are made with consideration of the consumer. Local makers care deeply about the health and wellness of their customers and strive to provide the best, whereas some big box stores might not have your best interests at heart. Shopping local at Raleigh Provisions not only provides economic support to local makers, but also promotes health and wellness for our community.
Raleigh Provision also often hosts events in partnership with local business owners and brands. Be sure to follow them on social media to stay in the know for future workshops or meet and greets!
3) Deco Raleigh: http://decoraleigh.com/home
Photo by: Deco Raleigh
This unique Raleigh retailer is hitting some huge milestones this year! They just opened their brand new location that combined Deco and their Deco home store. Their new location is next door to Quercus, facing Salisbury Street and you can’t miss it! They are also celebrating their 5 year anniversary in November! Deco is known as the go-to for unique gift buying or buying a local good for your home. They sell a variety of products for each and every lifestyle. Deco is the place to go to find trendy new brands like Swell water bottles or local Raleigh goods such as Videri Chocolate, Raleigh themed stickers, or North Carolina tees! Aside from selling goods that put money back into our community, they also donate to many local nonprofits every year. So whether you purchase for yourself or as a gift, know that your money is giving back.
Check out their website to see all the brands they sell and to read their blog posts! Be sure to also check out their brand new location!
4) Stitch : https://hollyaiken.com/pages/about
Photo by: Stitch
We’ve all seen this colorful corner store Downtown right beside Raleigh Times, but have you ever peeked inside to check it out? Stitch is a retail store filled with simplistic and sophisticated bags designed by Raleigh native, Holly Aiken. Stitch, the retail design studio for Holly Aiken Bags, first opened in 2004 and moved to its current location on Hargett Street in 2008.
“In addition to retail space, Aiken devotes the second half of Stitch to the design studio and manufacturing facility of her distinctive bags and accessories. Every Holly Aiken Bag is built in North Carolina – cut by hand at Stitch, and sewn by local independent seamstresses. Her distinctive look is present in every piece – simple lines, distinctive colors, and constructed with precision and care to withstand the daily grind.”
Stitch supports numerous local, independent seamstresses and is a unique place in our community. If you’re looking to shop local and meet some wonderful people in the process, check out Stitch and Holly Aiken Bags!
5) Port of Raleigh: https://portofraleigh.co/pages/about-us
Port of Raleigh is not only known for their bright yellow wall, but also for their simplistic and modern style. Full of home decor and furniture, Port of Raleigh is a go-to for decorating your home with unique and artful pieces. They work with well-known, independent, and emerging designers and studios from around the world to create a unique collection of contemporary yet timeless items. Shopping at Port of Raleigh supports local designers and small business owners around the world. Owner Ana Maria Munoz believes that “through good, simple design, these things we live with and use daily can be useful and artful, purposeful yet clever, and perhaps most important, refreshingly modern yet timeless.”
Check out their store next to Poole’s Diner on S. McDowell St.
Thank you all for joining us at Urban MJ! We hope to continue to serve as an educator of urban development, economic growth, and the best of the best local goods and services! Follow us along to stay in the know of upcoming Triangle news and industry updates!