Covid-19 Retail Queues Inspired By Theme Parks? Long Lines Prompt New Thinking

Theory House, a leading retail branding agency, announced a partnership with Mark Gildersleeve, a veteran creative director in the theme park industry, to reimagine the Covid-19 retail queue by bringing theme park approaches to improve guest experience.

In a rush to manage social distancing and meter the number of guests entering, many retailers have formulated makeshift corrals that bring the worst part of retail – waiting in line – to both the beginning and end of the experience. “Drive by any big box, grocery or home improvement store at key times and you are likely to see dozens, if not hundreds of guests waiting outside,” says Jim Cusson, president of Theory House. “Most of these lines are uninspiring at best and uncomfortable at worst. And the discomfort will only get amplified as we head into the heat of summer.”

Recognizing this industry challenge, Theory House began studying the concepts of queue management from the theme park industry. The agency then enlisted the talents of Gildersleeve to develop a novel service offering, Queue EXP, that transforms a potentially negative experience into one that is engaging and educational.

“Queue lines at the best theme parks are as much a part of the experience as the attraction itself,” says Gildersleeve. “Queue EXP provides a fun and enjoyable queue line experience by cleverly immersing the customer in the store’s brands and products while preparing them for a more efficient shopping experience.”

Theory House and Gildersleeeve developed a conceptual Queue EXP (pictured) for a national home improvement retailer. In this rendering, guests make their way through a curving modular shade structure that incorporates water misters, cooling fans and educational audio. Waiting among whimsical, larger-than-life products and tools is a bold way for brands to advertise their products in a uniquely experiential way.

“We see Queue EXP as an opportunity for retailers to differentiate in the marketplace and deliver a better guests experience that brings unique aspects of their brand to life for customers,” says Cusson. “There is also an opportunity to transform the expense of managing this infrastructure into a revenue stream by offering sponsorship opportunities for brands to engage directly with guests as they wait in line.”

Each Queue EXP solution will be unique based on the retailer’s brand and customers. More information about Queue EXP can be found at

About Theory House

Theory House is a leading retail branding agency that partners with global retailers and brands, including Pepsi, Google, Starbucks, Delta Faucet, Lowe’s, McCormick and The Fresh Market, to transform their retail brand experiences through strategically-driven creative that gains shoppers’ attention, their purchase and their loyalty.

About Mark Gildersleeve

Mark Gildersleeve is a multi-faceted designer and creative director who has created branded entertainment and retail experiences for over 20 years for theme parks including Dollywood, Seaworld Orlando, Dream World in Australia, Taman Safari in Indonesia, Wild Adventures, Kings Island and Carowinds.

Lowe’s and the gable mansard design are registered trademarks of LF, LLC. VALSPAR is a trademark of The Valspar Corporation. CRAFTSMAN is a trademark of STANLEY BLACK & DECKER, INC. SCOTTS is a trademark of OMS INVESTMENTS, INC. WORX is a trademark of POSITEC GROUP LIMITED. KOBALT and BLUE HAWK are trademarks of LF, LLC.

Media Contact
Company Name: Theory House
City: Charlotte
State: NC
Country: United States