The world’s retailers face a host of challenges. Even before the pandemic, many brick-and-mortar retailers were struggling. Now, as we emerge from the liminal space of nationwide lockdowns into new psychological and social territory, shoppers will be anxious about whether visiting stores will increase their exposure to the virus. Adding to the complexity: The United States is now officially in a recession, which will dampen consumer spending for months to come.
In this environment, reading “future of” pieces can feel like a trip to the World’s Fair. There are hundreds of new gadgets and designs being dreamed up to keep us safe from biological threats, mediate our hesitancy to socialize again, and further the integration of our digital and physical lives. As much as this excitement will help us in the long run, what retailers need most right now are tested solutions they can deploy immediately.
But brands need more than a checklist of sanitization practices. They need actionable vision that will set them apart and entice people people back inside their stores.
Read more from "What Will the Retail Experience of the Future Look Like?" at HBR.org.
Acne Studios Shibuya (via Frame)