What’s the purpose of a store? Technically, it’s to offer up products to customers and, more importantly, get them to buy those products. But in recent years, the purpose of a store has been brought into question as startups and traditional retailers alike explore what has become the pinnacle of physical retail: experiential retail. Or, to specify: successful experiential retail. The idea of fostering a closer relationship with customers, one that’s not just focused on the transactional act of shopping, has led to all kinds of experimentation within stores, with varying degrees of usefulness. Some examples, like basketball courts and soccer fields in athletics shops, are geared toward giving customers a better way to test out the products they might want to buy, while others, like Lululemon’s newest concept, are intended to build community around the brand through activities like workout classes, group meditations, and scheduled events. Read more at Retail Dive.