Theory Wellness, a vertically integrated cannabis retailer, will open a flagship dispensary in Chicopee, Mass. The shop, designed in partnership with CS Hudson, will initially open as a recreational location before becoming a medical dispensary as well.
The store features design elements such as abstract art, custom hand-painted wall murals and plant elements to help enhance the shopping experience. The layout, inventory management and services on offer are all informed by lessons gleaned from the retailer’s first recreational dispensary, in Great Barrington, Mass.
“We kind of emerged into the marketplace on the recreational side of things with a lot of unknowns,” said Thomas Winstanley, Director of Marketing at Theory Wellness in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Now we can approach this retail operation with a lot more of an understanding of the needs of the market. Every single touch point you’ll find in the store is based on some type of learning from what we saw in Barrington.”
Education will be one of the shop’s key elements: the young legal cannabis industry attracts many new customers with a range of needs, and finding the right product is a core part of the shopping experience. Theory Wellness will leverage well-trained staff to walk shoppers through the process and make sure they get what they need, whether it’s a sleep aid or something to enhance the experience at a concert.
“We don’t rush customers through our store,” said Winstanley. “We’re not trying to push a quick transaction. We want to give everybody the tools to help find and talk about the product that will do what they’re seeking. A lot of that comes back to our world class staff, who go through extensive training to understand the product categories to be able to make very educated product recommendations for our customers.”
However, veteran shoppers won’t be delayed by the concierge service: Theory Wellness offers a preorder service for those who know exactly what they want. The retailer’s overall goal is to put customer service at the forefront of all transactions.