A massive wooden table lined with iPads, goods are carefully arranged on those tables, cheerful workers welcome you to the store. Does this picture remind you of anything? While it all looks like an Apple store, the shop actually sells cannabis and accessories.
After years of looking like underground shops, cannabis stores are ready for a makeover. MedMen is a cannabis dispensary located in West Hollywood on Santa Monica Boulevard. It is one of the first weed shops to be inspired by Apple stores and probably not the last. The popularity of the company's high-tech gadgets is a good mean to attract attention to the 420 paraphernalia.
Besides, modern cannabis retailers have adopted a new trend of opening shops with natural light and spacious displays that are so popular among other progressive companies. The new décor is meant to be more inviting to people who are new to the whole experience. Following the expansion of legal weed in the country, there are many people who decide to indulge in the whole “weed deal” for the first time in their lives. And let us be honest, the customary dingy shopping experience may scare them off.
The development of the industry gives retailers a reason to invest more in shops and dispensaries and make them attractive for the long haul.
During the last four years, the number of weed users of 26 years and older has grown by 30 percent. Managing director at Cowen&Co, Vivien Azer, mentions that the biggest potential source of profit are older customers with a stable income who have refused to patronize the traditionally styled marijuana shops. Retailers have to represent their work in a less “drug dealer-like” manner and become more legitimate.
According to a co-founder of MedMen, Adam Bierman, the biggest untapped demographics are the so-called “Chardonnay Moms” who may become interested in weed merchandise just by walking past a luxuriously-styled boutique.
In fact, unexpectedly for the founders, the majority of their customers are not young people but older Americans at the age of 40 and up. The customers' response to the progressive décor is positive. People are glad that the times of security bars and neon lighting are over. The product is legal now, and so should the atmosphere of the shops be.
That is why the founders of MedMen looked at successful retailers and even restaurants for inspiration. They came up with the idea that their customers would like to have some freedom to browse the store on their own. The dispensary contains refrigerators with pretty-looking edibles, open shelves with vape pens and bongs, circular containers with fresh cannabis strains and magnifying glasses that allow a more detailed inspection, and iPads to search some additional information about weed. You can also pull a tab and take a sniff of the product.
The preprocessing room of the dispensary looks like an open kitchen, which is a popular trend in cafes and restaurants. Unlike many shops that have numerous bags of merchandise scattered on the floor and are in general very unsanitary, MedMen is clean, and its employees always work in gloves.
As more growers and entrepreneurs jump into the market, it is vital to attract people by all means. Creating a pleasant shopping experience and lowering the prices are the most effective options.
A notable retail expert from Los Angeles, Ron Friedman, has no doubt that the way to the success is “creating an environment where somebody enjoys just being in the store.”