As with the move toward experiential retail, the trend transforming traditional retail into mixed-use community hubs has been bubbling away for some time.
Indeed, both experiential and community-driven retail environments require in-person activation to bring them to life, and the current situation is reinforcing these strategies for retail’s road to rebirth post-pandemic.
Seemingly ahead of the trend when it comes to data, Designer Outlets and off-price retail locations have long relied on retail intelligence to work closely with their tenants with turnover-based leases and collective access to a comprehensive view of data.
At this crucial moment, landlords, asset managers and their tenants are having to work much more closely to get results. Performance-linked rents encourage a new type of community, one with connected partners working together to achieve the best performance fuelled by up-to-date information – A new connected retail.
Beyond the outlet sector, we are seeing more store lease agreements adapting this way which is a positive move. Owners with a true understanding of their occupiers can work smarter to deliver a clearer strategy that benefits both tenants, and their customers.
Technology can aid the transformation of the owner and occupier relationship, helping to make it more collaborative.
Engaging and informative community tools that incorporate crucial communications (from pandemic assistance documents to changes in regulations) are naturally a key focus right now, but social shopping and tools to accurately measure initiatives and experiences will set real-world retail destinations apart post-COVID.
Even during the pandemic, there are opportunities to build a more effective and measurable way to acquire customers. Analytics have helped our clients immediately identify and nurture successful categories such as food-to-go, homeware and athleisure, as well as informing strategies to support those in need of assistance.
The new retail is not about adding a draw for consumers through short-lived distractions. instead, it is a long road that starts now to inspire authentic community-driven mixed-use retail environments.