Bricks and Mortar Retailers Make a Comeback!

As the high street crisis continues to threaten the future of bricks and mortar retail, some retailers are taking matters into their own hands. Across the UK, stores can be seen injecting creative and innovative campaigns to improve the customer experience: are they paving the way for the comeback of the physical shopping experience?

  • Rituals: gave out homemade lemonade, cupcakes and offered hand washes.
  • Primark: the brand has really diversified the in-store offering with beauty treatments, hangout areas, cafés (Central Perk in Manchester), barbers and city-specific merchandise.
  • La Salle de Sport with Reebok created a 1,700 sqm hybrid location in Paris combining a gym, a store and a relaxation area.
  • Apple: offer the opportunity to pay without going to the till by using an iPhone to complete transactions – a fantastic initiative to encourage transactions given that on average, British shoppers walk out after 6 minutes of waiting in a queue.
  • Sonos: provided an exciting experience that allowed consumers to step into their favourite tracks in visualised light form and see their brainwave patterns while listening to songs.
  • TOMS’ in-store VR initiative allowed customers to take a virtual trip to Peru where they would get to see the company’s One for One giving campaign in action.

In addition to brands and stores responding privately, local authorities across the UK are thoroughly supporting our town centres and shopping malls, driving the retail market forwards. The Government has increased its commitment to invest in towns across the country from £325m to £1bn and has announced £900m in business rates relief for small retailers. For more information on the work being done click here.

High-streets and shopping centres become the heart of local communities – something online cannot compete with – so to ensure retailers can gain brand/store loyalty, they need to be creating unique and immersive experiences that the consumers of today are craving! Purchasing a product is only a mere factor of why consumers visit a store, experiences and entertainment are much higher on the agenda and therefore essential in order to drive footfall and compete with the convenience of e-commerce.

The developments in technology are allowing retailers to transform in-store experiences and deliver entertainment and memorable environments. It’s fantastic to see that brands are responding to the changing consumer behaviour and local authorities are supporting to drive footfall and develop surrounding areas… looking forward to seeing what’s next to come!

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