The best retailers combine a mix of strategies to effectively connect with consumers: reinforce value, customize to the shopper, build emotional engagement. On Tuesday, WSL Strategic Retail’s Wendy Liebmann presented the best retail concepts at NRF’s 102nd Annual Convention and EXPO, Retail’s Big Show 2013. Here are a few of the innovative examples she’s seen from her travels, as well as what these retailers are doing to keep their customers coming back for more.

1. BURBERRY – Regent St., London:  Designed to reflect their website, this store offers an inviting, multi-media experience where shoppers can participate in the Burberry brand. Seating areas and a lack of security guards give the store a welcoming feel, and multi-level digital screens are used to create in-store “moments.” Case in point: digital rainstorms and thunderstorm sound effects were used to promote the classic Burberry trench coat. And, RFID (radio-frequency identification) wireless readers on merchandise enable shoppers to get behind-the-scenes content about a product, such as how a particular handbag was created.

2. NET A PORTER – This virtual store “breaks the rule that luxury cannot successfully be sold online,” Wendy pointed out. All about curating trends, Net-A-Porter publishes online magazines weekly, and then allows consumers to “shop this week’s magazine.” If choosing to shop by category, customers will find not only products, but also an entire outfit designed around the product. The site’s channels also offer “fresh, rich content including runway shows, designer interviews, and Net-A-Porter Live, where you can see what consumers are buying across the globe, in real-time.”

3. HARROD’S – Brompton Road, London: Harrod’s toy department is all about entertainment, using sounds, light, and bold messaging to appeal to the “kid in everyone.” Walking into the toy department “literally feels like walking into a circus, complete with circus music and oversized stuffed animals,” Wendy said. One level up, a candy store sells both mass, packaged candy and customized candy that shoppers can watch being made by in-store artisans. Shoppers can also take a walk through an enchanted forest, and end up in an old-fashioned reading room, where they can read a book and relax.

4. CUSCO MARKET – Cusco, Peru: According to Wendy, some of the best retailing is not the newest, and technology isn’t always necessary for successful retail. Cusco Market’s open air and indoor markets is an example of traditional retail at its best, where shoppers can buy hand-made, local jewelry and crafts, as well as fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables from local merchants. The customer service and old-world feel makes for a unique shopping experience, where customers feel like someone picked the products especially for them.