Retail experts at ICSC Europe have offered four predictions for those involved in the purchase and sale of retail space.
Half a decade ago, it was said that physical stores are a liability and e-commerce is the way to go. However, today around 90% of purchases happen inside stores and experts are predicting that physical stores will keep focus on brands.
This is being indicated by Amazon’s plans to open a retail store and possibly a chain of gas stations.
Physical with digital
According to the Head of Westfield Labs, Kevin McKenzie, the growth of a retailer is dependent on both their physical and digital presence. These two worlds have combined to offer consumers an immersive experience whilst shopping. One of these experiences is Express Parking, where customers are able to check on available parking spaces on their mobiles. Their registration number will be detected by a system which directs them to the area where there are free spaces and payment is taken by card upon exiting the center. Westfield Labs’ Optimizing Way finding is a mobile app which directs consumers around their shopping centers.
New leasing model
According to the co-founder of the Future Laboratory, Chris Sanderson, landlords and mall owners no longer sell retail space by square meter, but rather ‘wonder’ by square meter. This is evident in Apple stores where consumers are offered an overall experience of its products. It is easier to draw customers by offering them an all-inclusive experience, rather than simply rows of stores.
Food and beverage
Statistically, shoppers who eat, spend around 20% more on retail. This makes it vital to plan adequate F&B areas within shopping centers or risk losing out on shoppers remaining within the mall.
11 MAY 2015, USA
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