To resist the crush of the convenience and cost-savings of online shopping, the old brick and mortar retailers need to have some sort of angle — a terrific experience, a unique offering, or as this article in the New York Times suggests a luxury item that you would like to touch and feel and try on before charging up the credit card:
Recent years have seen store closings from small brands and seismic contractions from major retailers, including Hudson’s Bay Company’s sale of the landmark Lord & Taylor building on Fifth Avenue last month to WeWork, the office-sharing start-up. (Lord & Taylor will rent about a quarter of its former space to continue operating.)But the solution, say several retail innovators, is not the end of bricks and mortar, as some in the industry once anticipated. There was a time six or seven years ago when there was only talk of pure play e-commerce,” said Stephanie Phair, the chief strategy officer of Farfetch, the marketplace and retail platform that helps brands do business online. “What we’ve seen from a millennial consumer behavior point of view is customers really want that joined-up online and offline experience.”What that means is a renovation of the old bricks-and-mortar ideal.
This is the key paragraph from the article:
Instead of the arms race for the biggest location on the most desirable street, a new model focused on multifunctional, integrated stores is gaining currency: less storehouses of product than event spaces, classrooms, community centers, showrooms or studios.