I am recovering from shoulder surgery and my physiotherapist said to me, “You’re not out of the woods yet, but you are definitely in a clearing.”
Unexpectedly, the retail sector also seems to be in a clearing as we emerge from 2020. After years of commentary forecasting a brick-and-mortar retail apocalypse, CBNC reports that for the first time in five years, retailers will open more stores than they will close in 2021, according to Coresight Research. This is encouraging for consumers and good news for retailers during this surprisingly exciting time for retail.
2020 created retail space vacancies which have enabled retailers to negotiate shorter, more flexible leases with more affordable rental contracts. This has created opportunities for retailers to diversify their footprint, experiment with new formats and open new stores.
Another thing that 2020 prompted was a digital shift in consumer behaviour, which has expedited digital transformation plans for many organisations. As the retail sector evolves to meet the ever-changing expectations of consumers, value-adding digital solutions have become an essential component when opening new stores.
Purpose-built digital signage, touch screen kiosks and cloud-native devices enhance customer experience and improve employee engagement; and are perfect digital touchpoints to add value to new stores. With multiple internal stakeholders involved in the planning process, there are numerous reasons to include in-store digital in the new store budget.
When digital signage has been part of the architectural design and installed by professionals, it is much more than a marketing tool. It improves aesthetics, enhances customer experience and validates brands as digital natives. C.S. Lewis famously wrote, “Progress means not just changing, but changing for the better.” As retailers open new stores in 2021 there has never been a more important time to innovate for the future.
This really is good news for retailers during this surprisingly exciting time for retail. If your organisation is opening new stores and exploring innovation, please get in touch. datmedia specialises in helping businesses transform digitally with innovative solutions. We’re dedicated to enabling positive change through technology.
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