Retail has been through a rough couple of years. You only have to stroll down the famous shopping areas like Bleeker Street in NYC or State Street in Santa Barbara to see that retail is in trouble. Over the last few years, thousands of shops closed across the country, mainly due to lack of sales and skyrocketing rents.
According to a recent article in Fast Company, retail is on the rise again. Brick and mortar is making a comeback, as people realize that shopping IRL is more fun than staring at a screen all day. But that doesn’t mean that things are just falling back to what they used to be. Shops are having to reinvent themselves to entice consumers to give them another chance. Many shops are positioning their retail locations as showrooms where customers can browse and buy online. Examples of this are shops like Restoration Hardware, CB2, and West Elm. This allows retail to lease a smaller retail space and hold their inventory in less expensive locations.
We’ve also seen the rise of the Pop-UPshop. This allows indie brands a chance to show off their goods at locations that normally would be out of their price range for a long term lease.
Monocle magazine interviewed a panel of industry experts from around the world to discuss the fate of retail. Everything from design ideas to new ways of communicating with customers was discussed. Read the full article here.
Generation Z & Millennials, especially those shopping for beauty products, are showing an increasingly prominent place in the world of shopping. According to a survey conducted by Poshly, 94% of millennials purchase makeup, with 65% of them making their purchase from their smartphone. However, 72% would still prefer to purchase in a store. These women prefer trying out products before committing to buying them and that is why makeup subscription boxes have become such a big hit.
The future of brick and mortar retail looks promising, especially for stores that use digital engagementand embrace the ever evolving landscape of technology. The more information consumers have about their products and their retailers, the more likely they are to feel connected to them and want to support them. We’re living in an age of constant connectivity and communication and retailers need to remember to engage with their customers both online and in the stores. In 2019, we need to step away from the screen and into a shop.