Retail as a whole might be struggling for economic reasons, but the concept of the store has evolved incredibly rapidly in our lifetimes.
From malls and big boxes to pop-up boutiques and digital-first destinations, what it means to own and operate retail premises has changed dramatically. Today, you are as likely to find an experience-led shop with zero inventory as you are to stumble into a permanent pop-up, with arguably more variety in major cities than ever before. For every Uniqlo, shelves groaning with stock, there’s an alternative where almost nothing is held in inventory and the shopping experience is exclusively for immersion in the brand.
Before stores have not made this transition easily, or without help. Whether they run complex distribution and fulfilment systems in the background – allowing them to ship something to your office by dinnertime – or whether they have full-blown activities, customisation stations, and app pick-up, retailers have invested heavily in technology to deliver experiences that will draw customers in and give them a reason not to shop exclusively online.
New technologies are constantly emerging in the retail space – from cross-channel backend systems to customer-facing innovations. Join The Interline in November 2020 as we explore what it takes to make the most of bricks and mortar retail in 2020 and beyond.