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  • Writer's pictureMatt Scales

Retail or Die Trying

Updated: Apr 10, 2018

Avoiding lines at the check out counter?  Not getting stuck in traffic?  Averting the risk of catching someone’s flu virus?  Yes, please.  These, among other reasons are why I’m an Amazon man for life (or until something better comes along).  I mean it.  The other day I ordered Scotch tape online so I didn’t have to stop the work effort to get in the car, drive 5 blocks to Walgreens (which by the way always seems to have the longest checkout lines) to spend 10 minutes walking around aimlessly trying to find the aisle with tape in it, which is probably one aisle over from the antihistamines’ section where “that guy” is sneezing all over the place not utilizing the ol’ crease in the elbow technique…  Yeah, I’m a bit of a germaphobe.  

Companies Making A Difference

Am I the only one trending this way?  Not likely.   According to analytics firm comScore, noted on in June 2016, 51% of those polled make their purchases on line.  That’s up 4% from 2014.  Keen to see how that metric evolves…   So, what does get the ever-growing segment of people like to me to venture out, brave the masses and spend my hard earned dollars at a retail space?  Maybe there’s a way to blend the two, on line shopping with an in-store experience (“experience” being the keyword).   Nurun thinks so…  Cool company by the way -  They help their retail clients with solutions to bring products together and with a lasting customer experience at commercial real esate locations.  According to Nurun, small to large size retailers around the globe are working on ways to improve the in-store experience for their consumers.   ‘Bout time.   Tesco is worth noting.  They’re a British multinational grocery and general merchandize retailer, that has already started testing new digital technologies that may change the way we shop in the future. Among the different solutions the company has been looking into, there is a virtual mirror that overlays a digital image on top of a normal mirror allowing the customer to see how clothing fits.  Wondering how that conforms to your love handles?  Guess you’ll have to take the trip, check out Brexit and hit one of those mirrors up.

Winnie the Pooh

Local Retail Efforts

This trend isn’t anything you haven’t already heard about, but its worth keeping in the forefront of your mind, especially if you own or play in the retail world.  Is the bulk of our population going to stop going to retail stores to shop altogether?  No, probably not.  But the numbers don’t lie at the moment and retailers around the globe, small to large, are taking notice and steps to improve their in-store experience.   Personally, I’d rather have an experience and support the “right” retailers when I trek out somewhere to spend my time and money.  Earlier this year I stopped into Brewpoint Coffee Company in Elmhurst for the first time - Brewpoint Coffee.  The moment I walked in, I could tell they took the time to think through what they’re providing.  They’ve got an area designated for game night, book clubs and hosting community group events.  That’s cool!  They’re providing great coffee, friendly service, a fun atmosphere and doing things to get involved with the community and involving the community in their product.  Brewpoint isn’t throwing some low rate product on the shelves, turning the lights on and tweeting out, “Come to my store”.   They’re thoughtfully providing a product that people want and making an impact.  They get my vote for 2017 Local Business of the Year Award.  I like their mission so much I wrote about their story here. People like supporting businesses like this and it shows.

Like Bob Dylan said, “Times they are a changin’” and it might be wise to move in turn.  Evolve or die.

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