Retail is in a state of revitalization.
Media channels are stating that retail is dying. I disagree. Retail is going through a major disruption, but it is not dying; rather, it is evolving. No matter what happens, whether physical or virtual, consumers will always need goods or services. Retail will adapt, right along with the consumer.
And after attending the #GlobalShop Show, this was confirmed for me.
Here are a couple of reasons why:
- Retail used to be about consumer acquisition. Now it is about consumer engagement. Retailers and brands are looking towards their partners to help develop more than just price promotions and brighter signs – they need strategies to engage consumers with experiences and personalization. They need elements in their physical store to engage and connect with their consumers.The number of exhibitors who were eager to help craft and deliver the message to engage the consumer was overwhelming. Engagement was mentioned so many times… How to engage, Can we help you engage?
Reminder, before you start building anything, understand your consumer and how they want to be engaged. In short, evolve with your consumers to stay relevant.
- Shopping at the mall has changed. At the show, I attended a program entitled: “Rise and Fall of the Malls in America and what it means for the future of retail”, led by Ray Ehscheid, from Interior Architects. Ray offered photos and stories of malls that had not died, but were actually thriving! Why were they thriving? Because these malls recognized that physical stores need to be surrounded by spaces that offer or support activity and engagement. Malls are being selective on their tenants. Fitness centers, movie theaters, areas for relaxation are being viewed as the anchors over department stores. Blended spaces are emerging – malls with apartments and corporate offices. In essence, the notion of a shopping mall is going away and being replaced by a center of activity. Is the term “shopping mall” also being changed?
These were two elements I took from the show and I have not even touched on the concept of consumer convenience, BOPUS or the impact of virtual reality. In short, it was confirmed for me. After three days of discussing displays, lighting, materials, and, of course, the state of retail, I was reassured that retail is not dead; just evolving.
Overall, our team came away from GlobalShop with material and product education, new vendor relationships, stronger client relations and possible new client business. The GlobalShop Show in Chicago delivered once again. Thank you.