Have You Noticed This Weird Retailer Trend?

Photo: Via WarbyParker.com
Photo booths are undoubtedly one of the best parts of any wedding, bar mitzvah, or fashion industry event. (Maybe that's the open bar talking, but we stand by that statement nonetheless.) Why not have a built-in photo opp while you're shopping? According to The New York Times, many retailers agree: Topshop, Warby Parker, and Reformation all have photo booths on their selling floors at select stores. Your retail therapy-spurred photo shoot won't necessarily result in a hard-copy strip of shots, though; some of these in-store photo booths only let you share via email or blast out on social media.

There are definitely some savvy ulterior motives for having a dedicated spot for duck-faces. It serves as very cheap form of advertising: branded photos of happy customers, clowning around at a retailer's store. Plus, it's a special feature that works in brick-and-mortar locations, but not online. Why does that matter? Usually, e-comm bells and whistles trump a brand's IRL shopping experience.

“We wanted to offer something that wasn’t available through e-commerce, to really encourage the idea that shopping can be entertainment and that it’s a social phenomenon," Warby Parker co-founder and co-CEO Dave Gilboa told The New York Times. The direct-to-consumer optical brand currently has permanent photo booths installed in half of its dozen locations.

The Bosco, a photo booth company that provides photo- and GIF-creating services to a range of clients, can be found in Reformation's NYC store. One of Topshop's London locations, on Oxford Street, installed a booth in 2012 that was such a hit, there are now two additional booths at the store. Beyond clothing retailers, businesses ranging from boutique fitness studios to pressed-juice joints have gotten in on the photo-booth fun, according to The Times.

For those of us who counted "owning an at-home photo booth one day" as a childhood, fantasy-adult-life kind of dream (Kelly Ripa and Neil Patrick Harris are, in fact, living that dream), the more photo-booth opps in life, the better, right? It seems like you're bound to have more fun while shopping — and thus, end up sticking around longer — in a booth-equipped store. And maybe you'll drop more cash than intended in the process.
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