Summer 2020 is Not Canceled; How Retailers are Promoting Fun While Socially Distanced

The global pandemic has shifted the retail landscape drastically and is forcing retailers to get creative to produce events and concepts that make people feel safe while still providing some sense of community and normalcy. We understand that things may never go back to how they were pre-pandemic and the new normal is the reality. Retailers must adapt and pivot to stay relevant and use this chance to capitalize on their brand positioning to continue engaging with their target audience. Below are several examples from best-in-class innovators that are leading the charge during these uncertain times:

The Barber Truck – is LA’s first mobile barber truck founded by celebrity Stylist Jason Schneidman. The creation of the truck actually dates back to two years ago when Jason and his team found a 24-foot Morgan Olson sitting unloved at a Ford dealership. They immediately saw its potential and completely renovated the truck to bring it back to life, but with a twist from Jason and his team. It now features three chairs indoors and up to three chairs outdoors, a 55” TV and incredible interior/exterior design. The Barber Truck offers expert hair services including haircuts, cleanups, blowouts and more. For now, you can find the truck at Summer Social Club, a socially safe summer festival outside of Employee’s Only in West Hollywood.

Irvine Improv – Fans of comedy can now experience live comedy like never before, thanks to the folks at the Improv. The company has taken the stage outdoors to the top of the Regal Parking Deck at Irvine Spectrum to continue bringing laughs to audiences in a socially distanced setting. The concept is similar to a drive-in theater, except it’s a live performance that’s projected onto a 50-foot screen. The bigger the screen, the more fun it is, right?

Floating Cinema – Beyond Cinema Australia is bringing the first of its kind cinema experience to a body of water near you. Having already successfully launched the venture in Paris, the Australian company is bringing the experience to multiple cities in the US this September. Each show will be made up of 12 to 24 mini boats that can each hold up to eight people. The event requires that each group has to rent the entire boat in order to guarantee safety, regardless of party size. This means that you get to be the king of the boat and have the ultimate VIP experience, perfect for an intimate date night or a fun night with the whole family.

We are entering a new evolutionary stage of retail, in which big companies will get bigger, many mom-and-pop dreams will burst, chains will proliferate and flatten the idiosyncrasies of many neighborhoods, more economic activity will flow into e-commerce, and restaurants will undergo a transformation unlike anything the industry has experienced since the Prohibition era[1]. What will the future hold? No one quite has the answer yet. Perhaps 2020 is the wakeup call that we all needed to work towards a better future for all. As we have seen with the examples above, there are creative ways for brands to continue connecting with their audience while having a good time doing so.

[1] The Pandemic will Change American Retail Forever: