24th January 2019
The Future of Retail
In the wake of one of the busiest time of the year for spending, news has been rife with reports on the decline of the high street, questioning “what does the future hold for retail?”. The face of the high street is quite obviously changing, with shop closures occurring daily and reports of once prominent brands falling into administration. In the first quarter of 2018 major retail chains such as Toys R Us and Maplins went under while others like Marks and Spencers and House of Fraser closed a number of stores across the country.
Amazon is now ranked as the 5th biggest retailer taking £4 of every £100 spent in the UK and statistics report the steady rise in online shopping. So what lies ahead for traditional retailers and even more importantly for us as specialists in retail design?
International analyst Euro monitor actually predicts that even by 2022 83pc of goods will still be bought in-store globally, so while it’s not yet a word wide epidemic, there is a clear shift in consumer demand and the need for the high street to up their game to keep the footfall coming through the door has never been more important.
While there will always be passing trade to the majority of shop fronts, it is now not enough to rely on having an attractive window display to pull people in. Consumers are making swift purchases at the click of a button. Online shopping can offer speed and variety at your finger tips but there are still plenty of consumers who still crave the level of service and experience found in a ‘bricks and mortar’ store.
The key word in the future of retail is “Experience”. Frontrunners in the industry are moving with the times, following trends and listening to what their customers need. Combining digital and physical experiences to engage the public such as offering augmented reality experiences or robotic shop assistants.
We recently completed a retail design for bespoke travel company Meraki Travel. The majority of their business is done online and a large area of the store was dedicated to the telesales department however the shop front experience is bright and engaging with integrated technology to put the travellers adventures at their fingertips while they still have the human interaction of the knowledgeable assistant.