Published On Apr 10, 2019
in Areas of Expertise, Retail Real Estate Industry, and Technology
Retail is an evolving landscape. With advancements in e-commerce and the wildly innovative ways retailers are staying relevant, it is an exciting time for consumers. 2019 kicked off with a strong emphasis on experience, health and wellness, and convenience. Here are some of the key takeaways:
Experience is Everything
Proving it’s all about the experience in today’s retail environment, shoe big box DSW is placing nail salons in select stores. Now you’ll be able to get that perfect pair of open-toed sandals and your pedicure all in the same place. Walmart has also hopped on the experiential bandwagon, placing Virtual Reality pods in their parking lots. Lucky discount shoppers in California, Texas, Arkansas, Nevada, and Arizona will be able to hop into these miniature amusement park rides and be able to feel, see, and even smell elements of their surroundings.
Eat Well. Be Happy.
In what may be an effort by the retail industry to help consumers stick to their New Year’s Resolutions, health and wellness initiatives had a strong presence in headlines during the first quarter. CVS unveiled their latest concept, HealthHub, which integrates hands-on experiences, such as nutrition coaching and wellness exams, along with the addition of new health-oriented product lines. ShopRite, which operates almost 300 grocery stores, seemed to be taking notes from the CVS playbook with their implementation of “Eat Well. Be Happy.” This in-store wellness program offers cooking classes, healthy recipes, and lessons on goal-setting.
Convenience is Key
Finally, convenience is key for today’s consumer. In fact, e-commerce giant Amazon named logistics and transportation companies as competitors in their latest SEC filing, essentially declaring “game on” to delivery companies FedEx, UPS, and USPS. But FedEx is fighting back—the company is partnering with both Walmart and Pizza Hut to test last-mile deliveries via robots. The vehicles will help automate deliveries and can navigate difficult sidewalks and stairs.
From robots to cooking classes, the year is bound to “deliver” a “healthy” dose of retail innovation. We’re strapped in, whether virtually or metaphorically, and ready for the ride!
For more details on today’s retail trends, check out our monthly Emerging Trends Update.