The Future of Retail Spaces Post-Pandemic

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Retail was one of the most affected sectors during the pandemic, but it has also bounced back the quickest. With the use of new technologies and innovations, as well as a determination to succeed, retail businesses have taken it upon themselves to find new ways of doing things that have allowed them to continue to turn a profit in a post-pandemic world.

So, what is the future for retail spaces post-pandemic? Let’s take a closer look.

Who is leading the way in retail recovery post-pandemic?

As the world started to recover from the pandemic and retail businesses began to open their doors once again, those with large outdoor spaces proved to be the quickest to recover. Facilitating social distancing and making shoppers feel safe, these types of retail spaces enjoyed numbers similar to before the pandemic.

Independent stores and smaller retail spaces took longer to recover and experienced pretty significant falls in customer footfall in the early days.

Is the surge in online shopping here to stay?

One of the biggest trends in the retail sector following the pandemic was the dramatic increase in online shopping. With stores being forced to close their doors, most businesses had no choice but to up their online shopping game so that their customers could still get the products they needed.

However, even as offline shopping started to recover post-pandemic, many consumers continued to enjoy the convenience of shopping online. This has made it even more challenging for brick-and-mortar stores and retail spaces to fully recover and experience the same level of success as before the pandemic hit.

How can retail spaces prepare for the future?

There is some good news, though, amongst all this doom and gloom. In terms of getting customers through the door, there are lots of strategies that retail spaces can adopt to make their facilities more attractive to today’s demanding shoppers.

Think beyond the traditional retail space model

Traditional shopping malls are a thing of the past, as nearly all shoppers want more from a retail space than just a selection of stores. This means that investors in retail real estate need to be much more creative in the types of spaces that they offer, such as immersive experiences that enable shoppers to interact with their favorite brands.

Embrace entertainment

If you want to drive footfall to your retail space, you need to embrace entertainment facilities such as cinemas, bowling lanes, and arcades. Proving to be a massive attraction for most demographics, the positive impact of entertainment in retail spaces is apparent across the country.

In particular, retail spaces in large cities and heavily populated areas are benefiting from embracing entertainment. However, there is still room for retail spaces in more rural areas to jump on this trend.

Offer food and drink outlets

Just as effective as entertainment, food and beverage outlets play a pivotal role in helping retail spaces recover from the pandemic and future-proof themselves against the rise of online shopping.

Although the traditional food court has been out of fashion for some time now, food markets and other shared eating and drinking experiences have become more popular and are being used by some of the biggest names in commercial real estate investment, such as Jean Paul Wardy, CEO of CenterCal Properties.

The bottom line

When it comes to the future of retail spaces post-pandemic, investors cannot afford to wait. With online shopping gaining more and more traction each year, physical retail spaces need to do whatever it takes to get people through the door. More specifically, shoppers are looking for more immersive and interactive experiences, as well as ones that make them feel part of their local community.

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