A new era has begun. The past 18 months have caused massive changes in the retail industry. And now, as the ebbs and flows of the pandemic come to standstill – things are looking clearer. A post-pandemic world is upon us, and new habits have formed with shoppers and brick-and-mortar retail.
Trends in the industry are consistently evolving, and have been throughout the pandemic to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers. Retailers of all sizes have adapted to these changes and responded with a new attitude – positivity. This adaptation period has caused an influx of success for retail in its post-covid recovery. The future is exciting and filled with opportunities for brick and mortar.
Industry leaders are guiding this generational change to “redefine just what is going in within the four walls of a store.” The last 18 months have tested the abilities of many retailers, giving them the chance to think out-of-the-box and stray away from traditional operating concepts. These new ideas have sparked innovation and inspiration.
Retail brands are positioning themselves for the future, and here are ways they’re doing it:
The eyeglasses company started out as a sole direct-to-consumer brand. As Warby Parker became a distinguished player in the industry, they opened brick-and-mortar stores that were vastly different than their competitors. The stores embody a classy element to eyeglass shopping, with wood paneling, attractive fitting rooms, and up-to-date lighting. The brand’s executive team strived to create a new environment in their industry, in order to stand out from the rest. Now, they have 71 stores in the US, with plans to continue their growth initiatives.
The luxury fashion brand luxury teamed up with tennis player Naomi Osaka for a design collaboration in 2020. This partnership was created to bring an authentic element to Adeam. Osaka’s honesty as an athlete and throughout their campaign brought in attention from sports fans and young female shoppers.
Brands must put experience and community at the core of their retail models. This foundation has been around for nearly 2,000 years and will continue to be a key part of the creation and delivery of leading retailers. In 2021, simply displaying products is not enough. Stores serve as a stage to broadcast experiences and engage with consumers in a multi-sensory format. This is something that cannot be conveyed in an online environment, and is likely why so many DTC brands are moving to brick and mortar. Now retailers have adapted physical and digital models to combine both in physical settings.
Attracting consumers is not as simple as it used to be, even with the pent-up demand of today’s shoppers. But, bottom line is – shoppers desire new looks and ideas that provoke experiences and community. Successful brick-and-mortar retailers will be the ones that go beyond the four walls of their stores to reimagine new ideas, adapt to ever-changing society trends, and take advantage of growth opportunities.