The retail hub is built around 4 integrated areas. The ‘shopper paradise’ is still the centrepiece consisting of product displays and associated customer service. The ‘Collection Crossroads’ satisfies the needs of the omnichannel shopper and facilitates the collection, delivery, return and exchange of goods.

The third element is the local ‘Community Hub’ which uses shop space to form links with the customer and local communities, from staging events to running courses..

Shop colleague involvement and interaction are essential to the community hub. Finally, retail hubs are increasingly using excess and flexible shop space for ‘Business Centres’ allowing the cost-effective delivery of retail places.

Space planning for multi-use ‘retail hubs’ requires an assessment of ‘space users’ & ‘space stakeholders’ carried out at a high level by a cross-functional group including retail strategy, customer marketing, business development, omnichannel operations and sales analysts..

This team must be more innovative and open minded than the traditional product allocation team, with a wider stake holding in the potential retail opportunities that physical shops can now offer. Unfamiliar names must also be considered when it comes to putting a stake in the ground for retail square metres.

People will be at the heart of the retail hub, and the shop team will be at the centre of this. HR, training, and learning & development teams should help to create a template for space, and design, and facilities appropriate for shop colleagues, for training and customer interaction.

The potential for small spaces to swap space usage, as well as hybrid spaces at the centre of larger hubs allows exciting adjustments to the balance of square metres.. 

Three initiatives are important to facilitate such efficient and productive changes in space usage. Firstly, that product depth and inventory is kept to a commercial minimum to accommodate stock storage space. Secondly, that shop teams have appropriate training to be able to adapt their roles to suit the demand for selling, inventory management, click & collection and community activities.

Finally, that digital screens are used around the environment, that can effectively change the content, mood, and visual  communication to support the appropriate use of space.

’52 Steps to the Perfect Shop!’ weekly newsletter

For everyone looking to improve their physical shops,
or even thinking of opening their first pop-up or permanent shop,
we have written the ’52 Steps to the Perfect Shop!’ weekly newsletter, delivered direct to your inbox.

You too can have ‘The Perfect Shop’ by this time next year!