New retail study offers advice on how brick-and-mortar can remain relevant in digital age
As online “e-tailers” like Amazon and Alibaba continue to increase their value in the digital age, physical, brick-and-mortar retailers are trying to figure out how they can keep their stores relevant and open. In the last few years, major closures have rocked the retail space—Circuit City and Radio Shack are just two that come to mind that have all but vanished.
Meanwhile, those online-only retailers are starting to enter the physical store world and are having a great deal of success.
So what gives?
A new study, “Alibaba Saves the Store. The Third Wave of Physical Retail,” looks at the evolution of the physical retail space, and examined the significance of each “wave” of retail and the impact it has on the current state of stores in America. Further, the study offers advice for how those stores can remain relevant in the digital age.
According to the WD Partners study, five principles of being a “Third Wave” retailer emerged during their research. Those principles must be embraced and truly believed in by retailers if they want to have an impact of the lives of consumers, the company said.
"Stores need to get better, much better. If stores want to win back consumers they need to give them a reason to leave the house," Lee Peterson, Executive Vice President, Brand, Strategy, and Design at WD Partners, said in a statement. "Third Wave retailers are playing by their own rules and consumers know the people who work there truly believe in their product, and love what they do.
“Consumer spending is up, but foot traffic has been down for years," Peterson continued. "Stores need to commit to being social playgrounds and fulfillment centers, and give customers a truly unique and unforgettable experience.”