The impact of Covid-19 on shopping behaviors is a matter of great concern not only to retailers but economists, city planners, public health officials and a whole slew of other interested parties. A 2020 survey of online consumers in 9 different countries produced by The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and titled “Covid-19 and E-Commerce”, found that the pandemic has accelerated a shift towards online shopping.
The survey also suggests that the shift towards a digital retail world may be permanent. This news has sparked some intriguing innovations in the cannabis retail space, including the rise of “immersion retailing”, which seeks to create all-inclusive, multi-sensory shopping experiences that lure customers off of their couches and back into stores.
Planet 13’s (OTC: PLNHF) flagship store in Las Vegas recently added a new 80-feet wide LED wall in the expanded dispensary showcasing immersive entertainment (like lions breaking through the wall, vines growing up to the ceiling, and much more creating an incredible visual experience for customers). The dispensary also has a Willie Wonka style production window where customers watch edibles and beverages being produced and interact with products on flat screens. There is a choreographed Orb drone show over the dispensary floor, an interactive floor in the grand hallway, and a giant laser graffiti wall.
Planet 13’s Santa Ana, California store is the largest cannabis store in the world at 112,000 square feet, is not actually a store in the conventional sense but more of an “entertainment concept”. This concept includes Budtender greeter/concierges, beautifully merchandised products, and a sensory bar that invites customers to indulge in a cannabis experience reminiscent of a tour of wine country. Future plans for the as-yet-unmaximized space include a coffee shop, pizzeria, event space, and a customer-facing production facility that provides a real-time