Retailers and Brands Invest in “Bricks and Mortar” Stores in a Fightback Against Online Shopping

Retailers and brands are creating “bricks and mortar” stores which are larger, digitally enabled, better located and more inspirational in a fightback against online shopping, according to a report in Issue 43 of Global Apparel Markets from the global business information company Textiles Intelligence.

Retailers and brands on both sides of the Atlantic are fighting back against the challenges posed by online shopping, most notably the competitive pricing and convenience which online stores provide.

In order to tear consumers away from their devices and tempt them to return to stores, many retailers and brands are making great attempts to modernize their physical retail spaces.

In particular, they are creating new and innovative shopping experiences which merge entertainment and technology with traditional shopping.

This approach has proved successful for a number of retailers and brands, including Nike, whose store on Fifth Avenue in New York, called the House of Innovation 000, is considered to be “a shining example of experiential retail at its best”. The store features a sneaker bar and pick-up lockers which allow shoppers to reserve items while browsing outside the store. Also, shoppers are able to make appointments with brand experts in order to get advice on new products and technologies.

Similarly, U.K.-based JD Sports Fashion is investing in modernizing its physical retail stores with great success. In fact, the company increased its revenue in the first half of its 2019/20 financial year by a remarkable 47% compared with the corresponding period a year earlier. Also, between 2009 and 2019 the company increased its market share by 1.4 percentage points.

In contrast, the share of the market held by Marks & Spencer, also based in the U.K., went down 3.0 percentage points between 2009 and 2019. In response to its falling share, the company announced that it would close more than 100 stores before 2022 as it struggles to revive the stores which are considered to be overloaded and difficult to shop.

Meanwhile, other retailers and brands are experimenting with the formats of their retail spaces. Canada-based Lululemon is opening formats which range from pop-ups to large-scale experiential retail hubs in a bid to engage consumers and entice them into its stores.