Fast fashion is built around consumer appetite for a never ending stream of new products, which is to some extent fuelled by digital, and it is this that is also driving a mind-set of needing constant change in all things.
This is manifesting itself in the way physical retail space needs to be increasingly dynamic. Whereas once stores probably did not need to be refurbished much more than every decade this is now unacceptable. Shoppers want to visit stores and have a different experience each time they cross the threshold. This is putting serious pressure on retailers who are in many cases more inclined to offload stores than look at investing in their bricks and mortar estate.
Whereas it is possible to constantly – iteratively – change online stores this is simply not possible with physical retail – not at an economically sensible level at least. So what are retailers to do? One way is to feed their digital content into their stores. This can be done through video walls as well as interactive screens. At the Pro:Direct Soccer store in London the content from the retailer’s site is reconfigured for use in its physical outlet, which is combined with flexible fixtures and fittings.
What is particularly interesting about this store is the way it also works with the big sporting goods brands like Adidas and Nike. They each fund various reconfigurations of the store that promote their products. These can be linked to product launches or particular marketing initiatives. Either way, the bottom line is that this arrangement ensures the store is constantly changing and gives consumers ongoing reasons to visit.
In the US the retailer Story is also working in a similar way. It engages with brands to sponsor its space. For a fee the brand owner can theme the shop to their specific products or services. These sorts of initiatives enable a strand of constant discovery to be created by the retailer and in a way that does not drain them of their financial resources.
The big question with both these examples is how they would scale up such activity if they had multiple stores. Whatever the answer, there is little doubt that such tie-ups are likely to be a feature of the retail scene in the future.
Glynn Davis, editor of Retail Insider
K3 Retail deliver multi-channel solutions that enable retailers to create joined up shopping experiences for their customers whether they choose to buy on-line, direct, in-store or via mobile. It has over 20 years’ experience delivering award winning solutions, to more than 175 internationally recognised retail brands.