Moving into a new home is a lot of work—boxes to pack, movers to coordinate, juggling a seemingly endless array of details. However, it’s also a cause for celebration, full of excitement and new possibilities.
That’s certainly the case at Ketner Group these days. We moved to a new office in Austin last month, and it already feels like home. Our Austin team feels we’re right where we belong, in the middle of one of the best retail developments in the country.
With Ketner Group’s focus on retail technology PR for 20+ years, it’s the ideal location. Our clients have been on the forefront of retail tech trends for over two decades, and many of the most innovative brands in the business are right outside our door.
Austin’s Domain is retail at its best
Remember how the so-called retail apocalypse was supposed to put an end to physical retail? The Domain is a prime example of why that prediction never came true. Experiential or destination retail has been all the rage in the industry the past few years, and the Domain is a case study of experiential retail at its best. People actually love to work shop, dine and live here.
Here’s a quick rundown of the numbers:
- 38,000 residents, making the Domain its own mini-city.
- Well over 2 million square feet of office space, with major employers such as Meta, Amazon, Indeed, Vrbo and hundreds of smaller companies.
- Over 50 restaurants and nearly 200 luxury and exclusive retail stores and brands, with more on the way.
Austin is on every list of the fastest growing metro areas in the country, and retailers are paying attention. Last month Gucci opened a store at the Domain, joining other top retail brands including Neiman-Marcus, Nordstrom, a flagship Restoration Hardware, and many more—running the gamut from A (Apple) to Z (Zara).
As a local real estate analyst said, “if you’re a retailer I don’t know of a place you’d rather be than in Austin.”
An ever-changing retail innovation lab
For Ketner Group’s Austin team, the Domain is a retail innovation lab that showcases the best in modern retail, and it’s right outside our door. As an agency that lives and breathes retail technology PR, it’s the ideal location.
On a recent Tuesday afternoon I visited the Herman Miller store at the Domain and was immediately greeted by an employee who was busily sketching store layouts and designs. She’s a staff architect at Herman Miller and is using as the store as inspiration to study and imagine new store concepts.
Herman Miller calls its Domain Store an “experiential retail concept,” one of only a handful of company branded stores. The staff was friendly, accommodating and excited to work at the Domain. One associate I talked to has lived at the Domain for several years and is glad to be able to walk to work.
With thousands of high-tech office workers within walking distance, it’s a smart location for the iconic office furnishings designer and retailer.
Directly across the street is the first Texas location of The RealReal, the popular online marketplace for authenticated, resale luxury goods.
The RealReal exemplifies one of the retail trends that are most prominent at the Domain—online brands that have opened physical stores. It’s a colorful, well merchandised boutique that invites shoppers to stick around and browse.
Harmonized retail with an Austin vibe
The best retailers today are moving beyond omnichannel to what our friend Steve Dennis calls “harmonized retail,” putting the customer at the center of the experience regardless of where and how they shop.
The Domain is a successful case study in harmonized retail—a totally immersive experience where you can work, live, shop and dine.
No wonder it’s on the radar screen for the best retailers in the business. Even as it’s grown, though, the Domain has managed to retain an “Austin vibe,” even offering its own version of Austin’s famed Sixth Street entertainment district.
Our team loves the opportunity to explore great restaurants and retailers that are just a short walk from our office. Like many PR agencies and professional services firms, we’ve adopted a hybrid office model that gives everyone an opportunity to work from home, a coffee shop, the office—whatever works best for them.
However, there’s an extra incentive to show up at the office now. Ketner Group’s Austin team is thrilled to be in our new home at the Domain. Reach out to schedule a time to come see us and we’ll show you around!