“To survive the retail apocalypse retailers must think of retail as a service.”
-JD.com's Vice President of International Corporate Affairs Josh Gartner, on surviving the retail apocalypse.
Companies can no longer afford to be as removed from the customer as they were in the pre-internet age; consumer expectations and demands have changed so much so that consumers will readily shop with competitors if they feel ill-used by any one particular retailer.
"With the introduction of these new initiatives, which blend physical and digital to create an enhanced experience, we're giving Target's guests even more convenient options to find the perfect beauty items for their unique needs."
-Christina Hennington, senior vice president of beauty and essentials at Target on why Target is rolling out AR tools and a concierge service.
Looking to expand its beauty and cosmetics department, Target is experimenting with tech and service solutions to compete with cosmetic brands like Sephora and Ulta.
“If people are making the trip to the shopping center, as a mall owner, we have a responsibility to deliver that, not just what you expect to see at Victoria’s Secret, Ann Taylor or Bannana Republic. We need to deliver what is unexpected: Your local neighbor who is making jewelry or your neighbor’s daughter who started this new concept and is running the store now.”
-Catherine Loy, vice president and head of specialty leasing for Starwood on using pop-ups to liven up the retail experience
Local malls, fearing what many have coined as the “Retail Apocalypse” are bucking traditional trends and looking to local businesses to occupy their vacancies.
“It will become another channel in the portfolio of customer engagement channels. That means strategy, processes, people, and technology to support the channel. And if everyone from hamburger stands to high-end jewelers can make it work for them, then pretty much every retail segment needs to take this seriously.”
-Nikki Baird is a vice president of retail innovation at Aptos, on the Uberization of Retail.
Retailers across industries are starting to recognize pop-ups as a serious sales channel, realizing that there is value in pop-ups beyond PR and Marketing.