Stores of the Future: Retail


To identify concept stores and theoretical models that relate to the future of retail store design with links to news articles and statistics and information on the desire for retailers to modernize their brick and mortar experience.

Early Findings

Future of retail: Overview

  • According to Customer Behavior Analytics Retail, the top experimental retail trends for 2019 involve in-store digital retail, immersive store experience, and customer research & customization.
  • Design Curial reports that, according to the Gensler Research Institute, retail is no longer about products, but the relationship between the brand and its audience. For brick-and-motor stores to thrive, they should have the same level of targeting and personalization offered online and artfully combine human interaction with digital engagement (e.g. through artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, etc).
  • The article further states that some of the most innovative and compelling stores make digital a core part of the physical experience. Retailers are realizing that the biggest way to make an impact through digital is in-store (Deloitte).

Future of retail design: Concept stores

  • Nike’s Flagship “House of Innovation”: Nike's flagship store has revolutionized direct-to-customer retailing. Customer loyalty is key, and shoppers are able to "customize their shoes, scan & pay, and get expert help from the staff and Nike’s fan community". The enticing digital displays will lead the customer into downloading the Nike App, get expert help, ask for iterations, buy-it try-it, etc.
  • Sonos: the tiny flagship store is packed with high-tech. Technology is used to "connect Smart Walls, RFID Tags, and digital fitting rooms for a seamless and interactive customer’s experience". More importantly, each step in the customer's journey is "captured, measured, and analyzed."

Future of retail: Examples of Models

  • Ecosystem players: this is one of the strongest retail models of the future. These are companies operating as a one-stop-shop for both customers (places to browse, buy, read, chat, play, etc) and other vendors by supplying access to customers as well as services (logistics, advertising, analytics, and payments, etc). E.g: Amazon, Alibaba
  • Value Champions: these are low-cost retailers that pass on cost savings to customers while providing a good-enough customer experience. The focus should be on broadening distribution points, lower supply costs, and innovate the product range. E.g. Aldi, Costco.

Research proposal:

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