Shops on the High Street ….you wont see one by Spring 2023Old Saxon Retail Times
There wont be a single bricks and mortar shop left in the UK in 12 monthsGeorge Porkpie
I ain’t got that intanet thing.. ‘ow am I going to buy me stuf..Ivy Asbeen
A great deal has been has been reported about the rapid demise of the Hight Street Store, never more so than in the last two years , so the following may come as a bit of a surprise.
In the past 18 months, retail has gone through one of the fastest and most demanding transformations in the past decade. As a result, the role of the physical store has and is changing profoundly. For example, retailers are embracing new functions that are key to define the quality of the shopping experience delivered to customers.
Despite the “online-shift” assumption, the physical store is actually gaining centrality in retail’s operations. 76% of retailers agree that, following the pandemic, the store is becoming a more important asset in the customer shopping journey, expanding its role as experiential and fulfilment hub.Retail Gazette/IDC January 2022
The fundamental role and purpose of retail stores are changing. Digital transformation forced brick-and-mortar outlets to evolve as more of the path to purchase shifted online. Now, as e-commerce expands, retailers are reimagining the functionality of stores and tapping into digital tools to keep those stores relevant.
Physical retail will remain the largest and most important channel for the foreseeable future, but how space is leveraged will transform. In Euromonitor’s recent Commerce 2040 virtual event, Jason Goldberg, chief commerce strategy officer at Publicis, noted that stores are no longer a singular touchpoint in the shopping journey; now, stores play several roles, becoming platforms that serve multiple missions and stakeholders. Michelle Evans -Forbes December 2021
Whilst this a welcome step, it is important to consider two words in the IDC report.
What this implies is an environment where you can undergo the experience of the product or service . Plus the store will be a smaller fulfilment hub .
Not that there is anything wrong in either concept as the key factor will be bringing the consumer back onto High Streets or other retail environments.
An example of an Experiential store is…….yet here is another ‘flipping ‘eck moment ….Netflix
Netflix is expanding its retail operations further as it announces plans to open its first ever permanent physical store next year.
The streaming giant, which opened its debut online store last month, plans to open a high-tech physical store in Tokyo, Japan, in 2022 aiming to “merge the virtual world of the internet with the real world”.
Netflix is understood to be introducing a host of experiential features to its new store, while selling a range of merchandise from its most popular shows in line with its online offering, according to The Japan Times.
In other words Disney store with attitude.
Here’s another Experiential Store, which offers a truly strange but very interesting possibilities
London’s Westfield shopping centre partnered with teams at TikTok to create the concept. The pop-up has an area of about 370 square metres and will be open until 8 August (2021)
For shopping centres, it can be a tool to attract more visitors again, after the decline caused by corona. ” TikTok has become a cultural phenomenon. It’s where many of our visitors are getting their inspiration from, whether that’s fashion trends, the newest home styling influencer or foodie fads”, says Harita Shah of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.Retaildetail.eu
Who would have thought five years ago that there would one let alone two types of Amazon physical stores?
-Amazon Fresh Stores -checkout free grocery convenience stores (currently 15 in the UK)
-Amazon 4 star stores- Range of 4 star plus reviewed products from the Amazon web site (currently 2 in the UK
Who would have thought five years that IKEA would open Town Centre ‘Convenience style’ (my words) stores ? It is not actually that small at 4,800 square Metres but it is on the High Street-and is small in comparison to their regular stores.
Who would have thought that any of this was good news ?
I do .
Well at least in part.
What is the one common feature of any type of retail ?
They all need to have Customers.
What is the one common impact of all these developments?
They, all , for many different reasons, will attract loads of potential customers. Whether it High Streets, Town Centres or Shopping Centres, it will bring old and new consumers back in numbers
Over the as last fifty years, town’s main shopping areas have had a corner stone or key store attraction. These were often Department Stores, most of which have gone. Even the ones that are left have reduced their exposure (eg John Lewis ).
Whilst many of these Brands maybe considered anathemas to many , there is no doubt they are crowd pullers. What these Brands understand and are very good at, is Branding . Part of that branding is the permanent reinforcement of being on a High Street. They also see the value of physical locations within centres of population as the retail environment continues to develop.
And whilst many retailers may not see this as welcome news, they should maybe re-evaluate they way they operate and take advantage and welcome these potentially dynamic changes. Flipping’ eck it is, I think a very positive step in bringing people back on the High Street in numbers.
Moreover, whatever we think of any of these brands and where they pay their tax they still employ in big numbers and they attract spending in big numbers. The independents out there, and maybe next door to them, just need to make sure that some of that spending goes into their tills.