Rachel Shechtman is an entrepreneur and a fourth-generation retailer, who founded Story, a physical retail marketing experience. The concept offers experiential, narrative-driven takeovers of its retail space, reviving itself every four to eight weeks by changing the store’s design, offer and merchandising. Story has been viewed as the key to the future of retail, and in 2018, Macy’s acquired the concept store and appointed Shechtman its first brand experience officer. The 1,500-square-foot Story store was installed within 36 international Macy’s stores, in the retailer’s move to diversify its customer experience strategy. Upon the partnership launch, Macy’s partnered with MAC Cosmetics, Crayola and Levi’s kids to launch exclusive products solely sold at the Story locations in line with its debut theme, “Colour”.
Shechtman cites an experience at Donna Karan ’s 7th Avenue charity sales as the driving forced behind her exploration of commerce. Before Story, Shechtman worked in consulting. In 2003, she founded Cube Ventures, a retail consulting firm that worked with clients like Toms, Gap, CFDA and JC Penney. In 2011, the entrepreneur launched Story, which was conceived as a place that takes the “point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery and sells things like a store.” The themes, design and products are updated every four to eight weeks, based on partnerships with brands like Lexus, American Express and Target.
In her new role as brand experience officer, Shechtman is tasked with bringing Story’s interactive experiences — which, over the past 40 iterations of the store, have included everything from virtual reality meditation to a hot-towel shave station — to Macy’s, a legacy retailer searching for relevance in a rapidly shifting retail climate.
Shechtman graduated from Colorado college with a Bachelor’s Degree in economics in 1999. She was named as one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2012 and Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40. She sits on the board of Birchbox and the National Retail Federation.