PRSM Vice-president of Marketing & Communications, Bruce Condit, joined more than 37,000 retail professionals attending the National Retail Federation’s Big Show this week in New York City. A recurring theme highlighted during the nation’s largest retail conference was importance of the physical retail store in the success of retail and the continued evolution of the industry.
Brian Cornell, CEO, Target said, “Our stores are our biggest single, competitive advantage. Our digital business out performs everyone, because our stores make it happen.” Cornell emphasized how his company no longer operates Target.com as a separate entity. “Target is focused on delivering the products our customers want using any platform they want to use and delivering purchases how and where the customer wants it delivered.”
Retail has undergone tremendous change in the last five years and continues to evolve. A survey presented by Forrester revealed what shoppers under the age of 29, who currently comprise more than 30 percent of the shopping public, want to see in retail centers.
- Restaurants are critical– it’s not about shopping any longer
- 77% said they would visit a retail site that had a farmer’s market
- 75% say green space is important
- 74% use buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) services
- 72% like indoor sports facilities in retail centers
- 66% want to grocery shop in retail centers
- 62% would shop where a fitness center is located
- 62% want a beauty mega store where they shop
- 55% enjoy visiting showroom stores – instead of direct sales-oriented stores
- 53% would shop where a co-working space was located
- 52% want a health & wellness center where they shop
- 29% said nothing would make them visit a retail center
These stats show that while physical stores are still important, retailers have an uphill battle to attract the next generation. They do not want to shop in retail centers that feature multiple apparel stores, no experiential retail or other things to do. They come for the experience and buy something if it is convenient and interesting.
To thrive in the new shopping era, retailers must constantly evolve, provide superior experiences and make it as easy as possible for consumers to research, experience, pickup or have products delivered.
How will these new trends impact retail facility managers (FMs)? The FM of tomorrow must be highly flexible, work closely with marketing and experiential store designers, understand that customer service and convenience are key to success and excel at FM basics.
While physical stores are still key components in retail’s ongoing success, today’s shopper can choose several ways to shop. The key to the future rests in a retailer’s ability to provide an experience that will always keep shoppers coming back for more.