Physical shops: Places in our hearts & minds
COVID was supposed to be the death knoll for physical shops. It was of course immensely damaging and resulted in many shops closing and businesses folding. Customers naturally migrated to digital channels, some permanently and others temporarily.
Despite the whole channel being closed, the physical shop, in its best incarnations has already continued to bounce back. Despite everything, it is still the major channel for many customers, across most sectors, in the majority of markets, across the world.
However, what has survived the seemingly impossible, will not be the same as before. It never will, and why should it be?
The ‘rapidly’ changing retail shop
The physical shop is changing rapidly. Its role is no longer just about selling physical product, but about delivering services and fulfilment across channels. VM-unleashed considers and integrates functions that are exclusive to physical shops such as fitting and personal shopping with functions which have been initiated online such as click& collect and returns but which need to be fulfilled in physical shops.
The evolution of the ‘Retail Hub.’
In essence the ‘shop’ or ‘store’ is evolving into a ‘Retail Hub.’ 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. Ironically this is also now a main driver of shop traffic.
The local ‘Community Hub.’
The third element is the local ‘Community Hub’ which uses shop space to form links with the customer and local communities, from staging events and running courses, to providing a setting and showcase for community initiatives.
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. These include business and community offices and working space, as well as residential use for shop colleagues and local communities.
Working with the new shop DNA
VM-unleashed has evolved to stay-ahead of these trends. It offers clients its established skills and support in creating shop experiences, but with a new appreciation of the other elements that now form part of the DNA of ‘shops of the future.’
VM-unleashed now offers strategic advice, creative design, operational planning, and collaboration on the development and delivery of physical shops, across all elements that now form the retail hub.
Shop format – flagship, neighbourhood, convenience pop-up
Physical location planning
Shop grading & clustering
Retail hub gross space planning
Flexible space planning and allocation
Shopper paradise environmental design
Product story segmentation & display
Digital signage & display
Events and promotional delivery
Service area functionality & design
Shopping ‘Golden Triangles’
Stock rooms and storage allocation
Store operations, schedules & routines
Staffing and operations technology
Click&collect/omni-service area design
Staff area space allocation – office, hospitality, omniservices
Community engagement planning
Community space design
Business space strategies
Retail hub partnerships & collaborations
Logistics, distribution & delivery planning
Shop teams skills planning
Shop colleague training, learning & development
Your ‘physical shop strategy’ project…
If you want to start the ‘physical shop strategy’ ball rolling, please get in touch. I would be happy to share with you some typical project templates, schedules, costs, and case studies.
Please get in touch to discuss further your particular needs.