Society Telluride

The interior of Society Telluride. (Courtesy photo)

Lynn Jansen has always been interested in fashion. From a young age, she’s kept up on the latest styles and trends in the industry. Recently, while traveling in Europe, she noticed a shift in how brick-and-mortar stores were operating, including offering adult beverages to shoppers. This concept is known as “experiential retail,” she explained.

“It’s having a place where people can come together, meet, relax, have a cup of coffee or glass of wine, and shop,” she said. “It was something that was in the back of my mind when we were traveling. I thought it would be a cool concept to bring to Telluride.”

As owner of the new Society Telluride store on 109 W. Colorado Ave., Jansen has done just that. Opening Dec. 23, the two-floor store sells men’s and women’s clothing, jewelry, beauty supplies, and gift items at various price points. Jansen said the store has “a little something for everyone.”

“It’s like a curated collection of things from all around the world,” she explained. “I wanted to offer something different than other stores in Telluride.”

Society Telluride carries Songlines by Jewel, the jewelry line created by locals Colleen Thompson and Christopher Beaver in collaboration with Jewel, the singer-songwriter who has frequently visited Telluride over the years.

“Use these pieces to bolster you, and to remind you of what is most valuable,” Jewel has said, according to the website songlinesbyjewel.com. “The simple things in life are beautiful. Forgiveness shines, perseverance gives us steel, gratitude helps us sparkle with joy. Follow the Songlines that sing in your heart, and let them guide you on your own personal migration toward your unique purpose.”

There’s also a bar on the bottom floor, which sells coffee, wine, beer and non-alcoholic drinks, and a lounge area complete with a flat-screen television upstairs.

Jansen said this type of shopping set-up is more popular stateside in metro areas like LA or New York City, but she thought Telluride, which she called a “shopping destination,” would embrace it.

“The response has been great,” she said. “People seem to like the concept, especially as people are going more and more towards buying online. It’s not just shopping, but it’s also an experience.”

She likened it to the integrated cafes of London, where you don’t necessarily have to stop in to shop, but can just grab a drink and powwow with friends in a relaxed environment.

Forbes writer Greg Maloney outlined the “six dimensions of experiential retail,” according to a JLL Retail report, in March 2018. He explained shops should provide an experience that is intuitive, human, meaningful, immersive, personalized and accessible.

“Developing customer loyalty has always been top of mind for retailers and shopping center owners, but in today’s on-demand economy, it’s becoming even harder to secure,” Maloney wrote. “Possibly the best way that brands can still resonate with shoppers is through the in-store experience.”

Society Telluride, which was remodeled within a month, feels like hanging out at a friend’s house. Items are organized and spaced in a way that doesn’t feel cluttered, while the bar is separate from the retail space and is large enough to accommodate several people at a time.

The store’s website (societytelluride.com) will launch within the month, Jansen said, adding Facebook and Instagram are where to go for more information in the meantime.