In February 2019, Green Growth Brands opened its first Seventh Sense shop in Kentucky. This year, more than 200 other locations will open across the country, from the west coast to Florida. Despite challenges from such a rapid expansion and a constantly shifting legal landscape, these shops have exceeded expectations and changed the CBD retail experience for consumers.
The Challenges of Growth
When Seventh Sense opened its first shop this year, Green Growth Brands knew it wanted to quickly build a footprint in the CBD industry. But finding a first location wasn’t easy. Seventh Sense was limited initially by which states and cities would allow them to operate.
Legally, both states and cities have the power to prohibit CBD and cannabis companies from operating within their limits. To succeed, the brand had to educate not only consumers on the benefits and legalities of CBD, but also mall landlords, city officials and legal counsel to gain access to desired store locations. Through a series of one-on-one meetings, Green Growth Brands opened doors to retail opportunities in many areas of the country.
Within a month of that first opening, Green Growth Brands signed a deal with Simon Property Group to open over 100 shop locations across the United States. More partnerships followed, paving the way for Seventh Sense to open over 200 shops in less than a year.
This consistent brick-and-mortar presence, combined with the backing of retail experts and mall landlords, has surprised (and delighted) consumers. “In an industry where competitors come and go, Seventh Sense customers have learned they can depend on the brand and the quality of our CBD products,” says Kellie Wurtzman, Head of Stores for Green Growth Brands. “They know our shops will be there when they return.” Another key to the expansion being so seamless and successful, says Wurtzman: compelling store design and the skill and commitment of Seventh Sense shop employees.
Designing a Seventh Sense Shop
Seventh Sense shops are located centrally within malls and aren’t confined like traditional stores, meaning they can be shopped both internally and externally. This design allows shop employees to more easily attract potential customers who may be passing by or trying CBD for the first time. Because the CBD industry is driven by personal experience and testimony, the shops also offer testers to entice customers to try CBD for themselves and to experience the quality of Seventh Sense’s products.
Green Growth Brands carefully selects the store’s location and floor plan based on mall traffic and leadership’s decades of retail experience and knowledge. If the right location isn’t available, rather than compromising on the customer experience, Green Growth Brands will choose not to open a Seventh Sense shop.
Customers’ Personal Guides to CBD
Seventh Sense’s unique store design requires employees, known as “guides,” to have very certain skill sets. Guides often manage the store on their own, which necessitates a delicate balance of accountability, ownership, salesmanship and product knowledge. “Thanks to GGB’s well-known leadership in retail, Seventh Sense has attracted highly experienced store guides,” says Wurtzman. “Our employees are looking to grow and learn within a booming industry.”
Every guide is trained to understand every role and product, meaning part-timers are expected to be just as in-tune with the brand as lead guides. As they try Seventh Sense products themselves, they are better able to personalize the shopping experience for their customers. “The brand and the packaging are beautiful and make a statement, but our guides are the ones who make connections,” says Wurtzman.
And the diversity of Seventh Sense guides has allowed them to reach more diverse consumers, including men, seniors, mothers and millennials. The Seventh Sense’s guided retail experience has garnered valuable in-store feedback, including why customers are enjoying products and what future products they want from the brand.
This summer, nearly 150 shops are expected to open nationwide. To find a Seventh Sense location near you or for opening updates, visit the brand’s website.