Progressive Grocer, January 23, 2020 – In this article by Ipsos’ Kelly Fairchild we learn more about new opportunities that exist for innovative brick-and-mortar retail stores to grow their customer base.
Public spaces, such as town and city centers, have always been at the heart of the community, acting as the first social network before the digital age. From markets to chain stores, shopping was an opportunity for interaction and meaningful experiences.
The buzz of the marketplace was enough to draw people, as it was a local source of everything a shopper could need, providing a strong sense of convenience before the internet. Eventually, the social aspect grew around it, but as we become more time-pressured in our daily lives, grocery shopping has become more of a functional task driven by low prices and convenience.
Since then, this change in behaviour has led to the downfall of some big-name brands. Most grocery retailers have learned to adapt, bringing in digital tools to speed up services or trialing new experiences to entice shoppers. Experiential spaces may be a sure-fire win for big brands in fashion and homeware retailers, such as Vans, which introduced skate parks in its stores, and Ikea, which hosts in-store sleepovers — but what of grocers? The cost and risk of this are often too much for smaller stores, so a scalable alternative is to create in-store communities that reignite the idea of social shopping.
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