As the retail industry faces a string of closures, Mars Retail Group is bucking the trend by growing its M&M’s candy stores in the U.S. and around the world by next year. The stores will be located at Minneapolis’ Mall of America, Orlando’s Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort and in Berlin, Germany, Fox Business reported.
The stores will showcase interactive features such as a wall of chocolate for customers to personalize M&M’s bags, appearances by characters such as Red, and customization options like getting a photo printed on the confections. In addition, the stores will offer virtual reality experiences that will be switched out every couple of months.
Mars Retail Group Director of Global Retail Patrick McIntyre said, according to the report, “The candy aisle in a supermarket hasn’t really ever changed. There is a role brands need to play to bring it to life outside of that aisle, which is why these M&M’s stores are so important.”
A study by the Harris Group noted that 78 percent of millennials would prefer to spend money on experiences in lieu of tangible products. The aim is to offer consumers more socially immersive experiences at a time when many household brick-and-mortar stores are closing. This year has already seen an array of store closures from firms like Papyrus.
Earlier this month, Pier 1 said it intends to shutter almost half of its 942 locations. It also plans to cut corporate expenses and close some of its distribution centers. It was also recently reported that U.S. shopping malls have reached the pinnacle of struggle, with empty stores reaching a 20-year high.