Retailers are reimagining the purpose of physical retail space. We reported in our previous Shopper Culture Post: Pivoting Physical Retail to Digital that many retailers are responding to government shut-downs and social distancing mandates by developing more immersive online shopping experiences. In addition to supporting new digital and e-commerce offerings, many retailers are reinventing their physical spaces.
Uniqlo upgraded their space surrounding the Tokyo outlet as a ‘destination store’. The front of the store functions as a park and playground where families can go to relax and have fun for an entire day, rather than somewhere solely for shopping. According to Executive Vice President Takahiro Kinoshita, in the age of e-commerce, “we know that people need a reason to visit a brick-and-mortar store, so we want to make shopping a delightful experience.”
While other stores are revamping or downsizing current retail occasions, Ikea is opening its first second-hand store in Sweden later this year. The second-hand store will stock Ikea furniture and home furnishings that have been damaged and repaired from a nearby store. According to the Ikea Group Sustainability Strategy for 2020, the retailer states that “As Ikea grows, we want to strengthen our positive impact and help meet the needs and aspirations of more families and households around the world.”
Furthermore, the recent suburban resurgence has led to many retailers reevaluating where they open. Global retailers like Gap and Victoria’s Secret have kept their Manhattan stores shut while reopening in other states. T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants in Rockefeller Center and Times Square have remained closed, while locations elsewhere in the country are back up and running.
The above examples show that retail pivots do not always have to be digital. COVID expedited the innovative changes brick and mortar was destined to have in an ever-growing e-commerce world. How can your brand rethink physical retail?
Contributed by: Karina Arnold, Account Planner, Integer Denver
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