This year we have seen some awesome evolution in the design industry. Retail cannabis design is leading the way. Here are some trends to keep an eye out for as we approach the new year and look at the artistic elements that are elevating the cannabis retail experience.
Goodbye all white Apple store. Hello bright colors of the rainbow. Design pioneers are tired of the safety of neutrals. Pattern mixing, bold use of colors, lights and art that blur the lines between ‘wildly tacky and holy cow that’s amazing.’ We’re not talking about a few fun pops of color; we’re talking full walls of color, bold displays and fixtures. Cannabis isn’t for the meek and it’s so exciting to finally see it reflected in design.
Experiential Retail & Sensory Immersion
The new vision for cannabis dispensaries (specifically in adult use locations) is one that absolutely combines multiple sense-touching points within the space and flexes the space to include adjacent hybrid areas. This is mostly driven by the Gen Z consumer. A quick example would be if the dispensary has florals or greenery, the shopper will want to feel like they’ve been transported to the great outdoors. Feel the wind, smell the grass, hear the birds. You get the idea, a full immersion into whatever theme or vibe the brand is putting out there. Customers love being transported to a new place and interior retail design is absolutely the coolest way to do it. This ties into the recent social media trend, ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response), where you can experience a tingly euphoric feeling triggered by a carefully created clip. We love the way our environment can sway the senses away from the everyday and into somewhere extraordinary.
The goal here is to pull customers into the store and offer them something far more than a quick and dirty sale. Experiential spaces will also have those hybrid areas that merge the brand with something other than cannabis. This is tricky due to compliance, but we are loving the mixture of yoga, spa, lounge, arcades, art gallery and even bowling within a dispensary. If you’ve shopped at Sheels, you know all about this. A full ferris wheel, restaurant, aquarium and spa inside the sporting goods store. This is definitely a trend that reshapes the standard shopping model and is unique to cannabis.
Are we being bombarded with digital, phygital and AI in our everyday lives? Maybe. And cannabis customers love every drop of it. More and more we are seeing interactive, digital, full-on wall displays that make you feel like you’re at a museum exhibit. The initial investment can be spendy, but the ultimate flexibility and control (and shopper ooh’s and aah’s) make it all worth it. Imagine an incredible wall showing farm footage, where you can touch the image of the plant and an info bubble pops up describing the terpene and showing it being distilled into a tincture. Bored? Flip it to footage of your latest social event. Whatever you want your customers to see and interact with is completely up to you. More and more we are seeing the digital arts incorporated into dispensary design.