New Age of Retail is an investigation into how the typical retail experience is evolving, with a specific eye on the impact of online retailers opening brick-and-mortar stores and the platforms for the consumer experience that may result.
Online shopping has unleashed infinite potential – and competition – for retailers and the entire supply chain, transforming the consumer goods ecosystem into a more complex yet flexible and intuitive environment. The impact of e-commerce, technology, social media, generation Z, and the movement of online retailers into the brick and mortar world has unleashed the hybrid storefront model, one that melds the digital marketplace with an experience-driven environment that prioritizes transparency, flexibility, and intuitiveness.
While online retail offers increased visibility and ease of access, research points to the longevity of brick-and-mortar storefronts. According to the National Retail Federation and Mintel physical stores have seen 4% growth annually since 2010, 11% growth rate expectation in 2018, and 92% of all sales in 2016 and 2017. The result is a combined, customer-centric approach.
“The main reason a customer wouldn’t buy our product online was because they wanted to be able to feel it themselves. We are remedying that with our physical location”
“There’s hardly a one-size-fits-all solution. The mix will vary by store type, brand, and market.”
“…retailers need to adjust to the idea that the shopping journey has become deconstructed.”
In a two-prong approach, the team researched the industry shift back to the physical storefront through the lens of brands, brokers, and retail experts nationally and in the DC area. Informed by these insights, they developed a new model for crafting engaging and effective signature experiences for retailers and their customers.
A prototype demonstrating the team’s findings was created in May 2018. Showcasing local DC makers and entrepreneurs, this one-night experience was shared with 300+ clients and partners at Hickok Cole’s rebrand launch party, inviting the DC real estate community to be a part of the conversation. Larger-scale investigations are currently underway for sites across the DC area.
The New Age of Retail team is has completed phase one of their study. Up next, they’re taking a look at the long-term impact of COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions on the retail landscape. The expertise they developed through this iLAB is applied to across the firm to help provide increased flexibility and visibility to the retail spaces in our projects.