To design for Cannabis retail, you understand Cannabis retail. What is the best way to accomplish that in the midst of a pandemic? Stick close to home (Toronto) and take your client, Krista Raymer of Vetrina Group (retail expert) for a spin around the city in your convertible (open air transport).
On July 29, Burning Tree Design spent the afternoon and visited 9 retailers across the city. We very intentionally selected retailers that spanned the breadth of the market. From value drive options like Value Buds to retailers with a very specific customer base like Edition, Dynasty & Cori.
In no particular order we visited these retailers:
Value Buds (Queen & Broadview)
Canna Cabana (Queen & Broadview)
Alchemy (Dufferin & Castlefield)
Edition (St. Clair & Bathurst)
Dutch Love (Ossington & Bloor)
Dimes (Queen St. West)
Queen of Bud (Queen St. West)
Dynasty (Queen St. West)
Cori (Queen & John)
There are no shortage of learnings from a tour like this, but what really stood out were these 3 factors:
Staffing. Store staff that know their product well are invaluable to the retail brand experience. From on-point recommendations related to what you will be doing (relaxing, cottaging, cleaning), preferred medium (smoke, eat, drink) , preferred high (body or mind), and depth of knowledge about the grower, the budtenders set the tone and stood out (for better or worse). Digital signs, no matter how fancy, are no substitute for a knowledgeable, engaged budtender.
Online vs. Reality. The brand can present very differently on social feeds than in person. Several stores that steam up your insta feed just didn't live up to the hype in person. Conversely, a few retailers with a lacklustre (re: boring) online presence were amazing to experience in person.
Differentiate with Product. Every retailer we visited had access to the same catalogue of Cannabis products from the same provincial distributor (OCS). While the selection of product did vary store to store, it was the ancillary product that really helped to make each store unique. From branded apparel, exclusive product collections from design-Cannabis brands, to bespoke product designed for the retailer these products really helped to create the brand experience.
Connect with us to see how Burning Tree can leverage our experience, knowledge, and supply chain to ensure your retail success.