Physical stores remain important for retailers both as a sales channel and increasingly as a communicator of brands and a demonstrator of experience, according to a new CBRE report.
The Future of Retail 2030 predicts that automation and robotics will significantly change the number of jobs available in the retail sector over the next 12 years. It also places its bets on the power of prediction. As the Internet of Things becomes the new norm, the advanced integration of trillions of connected sensors will provide deeper insights into the buying patterns of consumers, enabling retailers to anticipate their requirements before they do. This will allow customers to achieve full transparency about what they’re buying and help retailers to fulfil orders more effectively.
Advances in smart device technology will, meanwhile, allow consumers to buy what they see, anywhere, any time. Simple, real–time image capture analysis will make everything ‘shoppable’ from any source. Andrew Phipps, Head of UK & EMEA Retail Research at CBRE, comments: “The future of retail is going to change more than we could ever imagine.” Stores will increasingly become showrooms as shopping evolves into an immersive, sensory, brand engagement experience. Despite the convenience and speed of online retail, shoppers in 2030 will still want to visit bricks and mortar outlets. Major pureplays will, therefore, become key owners of physical store real estate.