Business is rapidly becoming an integral part of a consumer’s online experience–you can now virtually shop for anything from groceries to cars and commercial real estate locations. The rise of e-commerce is most plainly seen in the downfall of once major brick-and-mortar retail shops like Sports Authority and Wet Seal. Despite these recent changes in how consumers view retail, brick-and-mortar stores are here to stay–but they must adapt in order to survive.
The Current State of Retail
Like everything else in the world, if retail doesn’t adapt to the rapidly changing environment, it likely won’t survive. Although the growing wave of e-commerce seems to be pushing stores into either the online retail space or into nothingness, there will always be people who want to physically walk into a store to make a purchase. Not only that, but major retail outlets like the Westfield Mall in Los Angeles just received a $1 billion investment, showing value in physical locations.
On the smaller scale, retail is absolutely changing into a more challenging environment. This is because customers are telling retailers what they want, when they want it, and where they want it. As a result, irrelevant real estate is disappearing and being replaced with outlets that customers are demanding.
Tailoring Retail Spaces to Customers
Retail may not be going away, but neither is the Internet. As a result, it’s important for business owners to consider how they can bridge the gap between their physical storefront and an online store–whether on a website or via an application. More than anything, customers are looking for fast and quality solutions that meet their needs. And more than likely, customers have already researched what they want on their phones prior to entering your store, so they know exactly what they’re looking for.
In fact, customers now are looking for unique items in brick-and-mortar that they can’t find online. Eliminating superfluous inventory also helps retailers eliminate unnecessary clutter and shift their focus from their physical location to an online location.
The Evolution of Real Estate
Location in commercial real estate remains important, considering that customer loyalty–especially in millennials–is lower than ever. That said, if your retail space is in a convenient, walkable location, you’ll like see more walk-in customers than a similar storefront that’s in an inconvenient location. Customer loyalty can certainly be built through exceptional customer service, but with the multitude of choices of available online, customers are looking for convenience more than anything. Regardless, as long as your retail location evolves with current trends, it has a chance to continue to grow.
Despite the pessimistic cloud hanging over retail’s head, e-commerce doesn’t mean brick-and-mortar stores are over with–it instead challenges them to adapt to today’s customer’s needs. Although Sports Authority closed, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Modell’s are both still open, proving that if you can adapt to the current retail environment, your location can survive.
For more information on how Murphy Commercial Real Estate can assist your retail location, please contact us today.