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The Storefront Salvation Game

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3 May 2018

Author: The Future Laboratory

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Can you save your brand
from the retail apocalypse?

You’re the Managing Director of a new British high street brand entering a competitive market. You have £60,000 to spend on rent each month. How many stores will you open and where?
1 Dozens nationwide. The visibility of physical destinations is key for brand awareness. You decide to rent space in as many shopping malls and high streets as possible.
2 None. The physical store is dead. You choose to focus purely on e-commerce. If Asos can do it, so can you, right?
3 A handful of carefully curated showrooms in prime leisure locations, not traditional malls. The purpose of today’s stores is to encourage word of mouth marketing.
Oh dear. You’ve opened too many stores and can’t meet the running costs! It seems the scattergun strategy is no longer working for retailers.
Great, e-commerce is booming but what is your long-term strategy? Experience stores are proving popular with consumers who like to test products in-store but buy online.
Congratulations! This is the perfect approach to meet the demands of today’s online-offline shopper. It’s been shown that opening a new store in a location that combines leisure and retail increases sales in both channels and generates substantial free PR.
Future-fit
retailer points
00 / 30
It’s a huge day – you’ve just received the keys to your new 3,000 sq ft flagship store! Now you have to decide what products and services to stock it with.
1 Products? What products?! This is an experiential service-based store that acts as a concierge space for online transactions.
2 Stack ‘em high. Flagships need to have a full product range and weekly display changes.
3 People over products – you prefer to build a community hub that only stocks hero products and offers convenient services such as a café and a bookshop.
You’re a retail pioneer who understands that online and offline shouldn’t exist in silos but rather support one another. Everlane watch out!
Hmm, this is quite an outdated approach to retail. Successful stores are now shifting away from product focus to creating more valuable services for customer.
Well done, you’re keeping up with the trends! While community is great, you must not forget to align your in- store and online strategies.
Future-fit
retailer points
00 / 30
It’s time to determine your customers’ in-store journey. You need to decide between increasing dwell time and offering convenience. Do you:
1 Create a maze-like layout that offers the customer a chance to make serendipitous discoveries.
2 Install convenient self-checkout machines and offer grab-and-go products near the entrance.
3 Build two entrances for customers to choose their own journey – your customers value convenience and discovery.
Eeek! You’re only frustrating your consumers who are used to finding what they want within seconds thanks to the likes of Amazon.
It’s great you’re thinking about catering to convenience, but shouldn’t shopping also be a leisure experience?
Wow, you really get the future consumer! You understand that they want the best of both worlds.
Future-fit
retailer points
00 / 30
You hear that AI is the next big thing for retail so you decide to dedicate some of your budget to implement it in your store. You choose to:
1 Invest in AI that analyzes customer data and creates more personalized services and interactions.
2 Buy a Pepper robot to greet customers and answer their service related queries.
3 Install real-time AI tracking to feed you live data about shoppers’ in store consumption patterns.
That sounds cool but you need to be super cautious when using your customer data, especially with the new GDPR regulations coming into force!
Really? Is this Westworld?
Jackpot, that’s the future! Systems like these can tell you how many people stop in front of each display, which products they look at and what they pick up off the shelves. You’re getting useful data without violating the privacy of your customers.
Future-fit
retailer points
00 / 30
It’s been rough, but somehow you made it to the end of your first year. You’re going through the books and need to determine whether the store has been successful. Do you choose to evaluate it by:
Unlike some of your competitors, you made it to the end of your first year! You’re going through the books and need to determine whether the store has been successful. Do you choose to evaluate it by:
It’s the end of your first year and you’re smashing it! You’re going through the books and need to determine whether the store has been successful. Do you choose to evaluate it by:
1 Customer retention, word-of-mouth conversion rate and growth of e-commerce sales from the local area.
2 Sales per sq ft, retail conversion rate and average purchase value.
3 Social media following, customer community and inspiration per sq ft.
You’re really challenging the status quo! These metrics will be hard to capture but will be worth it in the end.
It’s not looking good. You still have the mindset of a 20th century retailer – these metrics are based solely on how much product you shift.
Ch-ching! These metrics accurately reflect the way that customers are now engaging with stores. But can they ensure a long-term survival?
Future-fit
retailer points
00 / 30

With a quarter of US malls predicted to close by 2022, many global retailers are wondering how they can survive the approaching commercial apocalypse. While the value proposition of retail destinations has become obsolete, physical shopping is far from dead. But what are the new metrics of success? And how can retailers integrate them into their business?

The Storefront Salvation Game is based on research conducted by The Future Laboratory’s Trends Intelligence division, LS:N Global. Download our new retail macrotrend report opposite, or explore other related services from our strategic foresight product suite.

Credits
Editorial Director – Tim Noakes; Creative Director — Aleksandra Szymanska; Foresight Editor — Daniela Walker; Designer — Queenie Wong; Creative Researcher – Rachael Stott; Illustrator — Max Guther; Developer — Deeply Digital;

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