CBX reveals real-estate trends that will spark retail creativity in 2015
As retailers try to squeeze more sales-per-square-foot out of smaller spaces over the next year, they will be forced to get more creative–even partnering with each other to make their stores more compelling, said Dave Weinberger, vice president and director of engagement for CBX, the brand agency and retail design consultancy, according to a report by Chain Store Age.
Real-estate pressures will drive four trends in the year ahead, all of which are related to better understanding and catering to today’s shoppers.
“Consumers are shopping more often and making smaller trips,” Weinberger said. “Because of this, retailers are not just shifting to smaller formats; they are also taking increased note of how people shop and why their habits are changing.”
Theme Parkifying. A way to give shoppers an exciting experience that happens to be convenient as well. He cited the Chicago and New York locations of Eataly as a possible source of inspiration for chains seeking to innovate in this way.
“Sometimes likened to a grocery store with tasting rooms, the Italian food and wine emporium offers a compelling mix of retail, restaurants, food and beverage stations, a bakery and cooking schools, all under one roof,” said Weinberger. “Such themed and curated shopping experiences are precisely the types of brick-and-mortar concepts that can inspire people to close their MacBook Pros, get off the couch and drive to the mall.”
Corner Grabbing. Refers to the likelihood that convenience concepts will snap up premium corner locations, which are among the most convenient in any marketplace but are frequently owned by banks that no longer need this real estate.
“In 2015, as the major convenience players jockey for position, look for c-store companies such as Couche-Tard, 7-Eleven or CST Brands to make big real-estate deals with banks as they seek to seize such coveted real estate,” he said.
Side Selling. A trend toward looking for alternative channels in which to sell retail goods. Retail is currently popping up in parks and other public spaces, and it will continue to branch out in the year ahead.
“We will start to see colleges and universities, which have the demos and traffic flow retailers crave, sign more exclusive partnership agreements with retailers,” Weinberger predicts. “More businesses, too, will open up their extra space for retail.” Gyms, for example, could boost productivity by offering vitamin shops, apparel stores and juice bars, he said.
“I firmly believe retailers will have to get creative to compete in the marketplace and get the most out of their real estate in 2015,” Weinberger concluded. “Channel lines will continue to blur as retailers invite not only more consumer brands and tech vendors, but also other retailers into their stores. It should be an exciting year.”
New York City-based CBX specializes in creative marketing services, including branding, retail design, packaging and promotional programming. Clients have included Dr Pepper Snapple Group, General Mills, Kimberly-Clark, A&P, Pathmark, Walgreens and Wawa and more.
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