The Lights Are Still On!!!!
Informa Markets took an in-depth look today in a live webinar that’s all about “Tapping Into The Future Of Retail”, which Informa happily says there is no expiration date on in-person shopping, in spite of the alarming closure of physical spaces during the COVID19 pandemic, as well as the sharp decline physical retail was tormented by in the last decade thanks the online shopping.
COVID19 was devastating at best to retailers on all levels as the virus forced consumers globally to lockdown and put their buying power on e-commerce of all types, whether it’s native digital retailers or retailers whose origins are physical have launched online outlets as a ways to a means to stay alive.
Despite online business being the lifeline that keeps the lights on with major brands, native digital brands have quickly learned that an in-person store presence greatly helps their brand stand out, leaving a major impression on consumers to keep coming back, nobody truly knows this better than retailers like Macy’s, Nordstrom’s, Neiman Marcus, and Nike who’ve transformed their physical space beyond a buying destination, but into a place where a given Neiman Marcus in one city or town is a media center, a brand billboard, an entertainment venue, an interactive space with a brand’s products, and a community center that connects to consumers in the locations they’re in.
Cities where there use to be high-dense traffic before the pandemic have had physical stores close up shop now that they’re staying closer to home thanks to stay-at-home orders and even now post-COVID19, so retailers are opening up new stores closer to their consumer’s residences to keep their physical footprint alive in the market, implementing the new experience of an in-person store as a whole.
Another option for retailers, designers, and brands like Uncommon James have already done to consider is take the niche approach of pop-up stores and make it into a long-term strategy since it’s more cost-effective for new and existing retailers to increase their awareness in the marketplace, plus a countless number of towns and cities have more than their fair share of empty storefronts that need new occupancy to draw consumers back to their shopping districts hard hit by the pandemic.
Retailers and brands have had to strengthen their relationships during COVID19 because no consumer sales were happening due to lockdown, negotiating financial terms to survive those very lean times, the same should continue especially now that the climate’s changed with or without COVID19, with retailers and brands still being able to co-exist despite a brand having its own store nearby retailer, with products available exclusively at retail, and vice versa for brand store.
Each and every brand, designer, and retailer as the future of retail is now in the present are strongly advised not to rely on the future of just e-commerce alone, or even relying on the fact that your designs are interesting, physical retail in a reimagined way must be in your portfolio of growth, but execute physical retail in the way that’s best for your business to grow, and resonates strongly on your consumer base.