What Is a Destination Store?

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  • Written By: A.M. Boyle
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2019
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A destination store is a retail operation that consumers find attractive for particular reasons and are therefore willing to make a special trip solely for the purpose of shopping at that location. Typically, destination stores are unique in certain respects in order to entice shoppers to come to them, even if the distance or location is not convenient. Smaller retailers also gravitate toward areas surrounding a destination store in hopes that consumers will filter into their shops as well.

When most people think of a day-trip destination, they often think of recreational locations, like lakes, zoos, or amusement parks. Certain stores, however, pride themselves in inspiring consumers to make day trips just to visit their locations to browse, have fun, and hopefully, purchase a thing or two. These destination stores generally offer shoppers something unique and appealing that make the establishments fun to visit.

The consumer draw for a destination store can be the type of merchandise that is sold or the distinctive way in which the merchandise is marketed. For instance, a furniture store might sell one-of-a-kind pieces or a particular style of furniture that is not available through any other markets. In that instance, the special goods that are sold could mark that store as a destination store, a place that consumers will go out of their way to visit.


By the same token, other stores may not sell particularly unique merchandise but will display whatever they do sell in such a way as to create a special attraction. For instance, a sports store might not sell goods that are particularly unique, but the store could have interactive displays such as batting cages, basketball courts, or even a makeshift ski slope to try out a new pair of skis. In all likelihood, such a place would be considered a destination store because of its fun and distinctive environment.

A retail operation that wishes to become a destination store might try any number of tactics to draw customers. Aside from exclusive goods or elaborate displays, stores might attempt to lure consumers with deeply discounted merchandise or an exceptional variety of specialty items. For instance, a mass merchandiser could offer extreme discounts that no other store can match, or a seller of window treatments might offer an unbelievable selection of styles and colors. These efforts could be very useful in earmarking a particular retailer as a destination store.

Oftentimes, destination stores also offer other services to consumers to further their status as singular destinations. For example, some destination retailers might have on-site restaurants or offer babysitting services. These conveniences often make consumers more likely to make long-distance trips to visit a particular store.

Smaller retail shops frequently spring up around destination stores. Although these other retailers don’t expect to compete with the larger merchandiser, they do hope to capture a bit of extra business. Usually, a destination store generates quite a bit of foot traffic, and the retailers that secure nearby locations hope that some of those customers will wander over to their stores as part of their overall shopping trips.


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Post 3

@Iluviaporos - I think that's the best kind of destination store. One that offers extra value in just being in the store. I think Vegas has basically built its entire business model around that idea, when you think about all the extras that are offered just to get people into a casino.

Post 2

@browncoat - In some cases it's worth the money. It makes me think of cruises my friends have gone on specifically in order to go shopping. In one case, my friend told me that he basically made back the cost of the ticket through his duty-free purchases while on the ship.

I know a lot of holidays that are tailored towards going to particular stores as well. Tiffany's for example, or Barney's or Bloomingdale's. And every little city has a local destination store that people from around the area will drive to specifically to shop there.

There also used to be a chain of supermarkets in my area when I was growing up that we insisted on going to, even if it meant a much longer drive. They had lots of free samples and animatronic puppets all around the store, so it was wonderful for kids.

Post 1

I once took a trip up to the top of a mountain via gondola and was delighted to find a store dedicated to jelly beans at the top. They had tried to make it a destination store by providing art made from jelly beans and various kinds of candy selections that you couldn't really buy anywhere else.

And I'll definitely remember to go back if I ever take the gondola up there again. But I'm not sure that I would ever pay to go somewhere just to shop in a store. If it's amazing and unique, it might add to the experience but I just don't like the idea of paying in order to go somewhere to pay for more things.

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