By now, you’ve seen the headlines warning about the looming retail apocalypse. Vacancies are plaguing shopping centers, big-name brands are shutting down stores, and online shopping is in higher demand than ever before. To some, it seems like brick and mortar stores will soon become a thing of the past.
However, a closer look reveals that physical shopping is far from dead – it’s transforming. 2020 saw retail re-stabilize itself, and it became clear that these dramatic changes are only symptoms of a greater industry-wide transition.
Regardless of the recent turbulence, there is still a strong demand for CRE in the world of retail. Check out these 2 reasons why online companies will continue to open brick and mortar stores.
Over the past few years, it’s become imperative for brands to focus on the emerging online sector of business. Tech-centric developments were crucial to remain prevalent as society moved in the direction of digitized automation. Now that the online foundation is set, it’s time to move onto revamping brick and mortar branding.
Although the future of retail has everyone guessing, experts are expecting retailers to begin reinvesting in their physical footprints. As a result, omnichannel franchising is being viewed as the next big step.
Omnichannel retailing is the merging of the two distinct platforms of online and brick and mortar, providing consumers with a greater sense of connectivity. Omnichannel retail not only enhances a brand’s unity but also helps to drive sales in both directions.
“The clicks-versus-bricks debate is over,” said Tom McGee, president and CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers. “What we are seeing now is a retail renaissance as both new and established retailers are investing in their stores and reinvigorating their physical presence.”
As of lately, retail has seen a major shift towards the consumer experience. As online demand began steadily increasing, the number of people actually going to brick and mortar stores was on a frightening decline. With the advent of ‘one-click’ shopping, it seemed that contemporary consumers had finally found their ideal shopping method.
In order to combat the dropping client rates, retailers needed to step up their game. The entire context of shopping needed to be reconsidered according to the demands of modern society.
The answer? Make it fun! Shopping is now being considered as a luxury, a leisurely pastime where people can engage with brands, connect with friends, and simply have a great time. Retailers are eagerly creating ‘experiences’ for their shoppers – different things to do, explore, and enjoy; all within the shopping framework. Studies show that over 80% of organizations within the retail industry expect to compete mainly based on customer experience this year.
The results have shown groundbreaking successes for retailers at large. Consumers are absolutely loving the marriage between shopping and entertainment. According to the 2020 Consumer Report, 86% of consumers are willing to pay more if they get a great customer experience. This breeds a new wave of hope for brick and mortar stores.
What trends are you looking out for in retail’s future?