Experience Becoming the New Anchor

(Found in The Crittenden Retail Tenants Report January 8th Issue)

Look for retailers’ growing embrace of the experiential model to translate to physical growth across a wide swath of property types. A greater number of retailers across the spectrum are counting on space that adds a consumer experience to the typical sales floor to generate excitement and boost sales. Online retailers are turning to brick-and-mortar space to reinforce brand recognition and to build relationships with customer experience amid what appears to be a resurgence of 18- to 25-year-old shoppers preferring to shop in a physical store.

This move to experientially focused retailing centers on luring shoppers. Entertainment venues like movie theaters and restaurants are becoming increasingly important to shopping centers and malls, with tenant mixes often mimicking traditional downtowns to create a property that itself offers an experience that can tie directly into retailing’s expanding consumer-centric model. In some ways, experiential retail is about maximizing the space at physical locations to boost the bottom line across all channels, whether through online marketplaces, social media, or in-person. The integration of technology in physical stores also allows for customization of the shopping experience to each customer’s specific wants and needs.

While experiential retailing isn’t really new, expect more retailers to add an experience element to new stores – sometimes requiring more space. The current trend is an expansion of established experiential re-tail concepts such as Apple, Build-A-Bear Workshop, The Disney Store, IKEA, LEGO, Crayola Expe-rience and Distroller, all retailers that can be expected to grow in the coming year.



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