Bringing our high streets to life again…

Following our recent visit to Shoptalk – Europe, there was of course plenty of talk around the regeneration of high streets. You may well be thinking ‘been there, done that, the pandemic has been over for months now…!’ However, many of our local high streets are still struggling in a post Covid world. Retailers must continue to encourage customers to visit bricks and mortar stores, by creating an experience you simply cannot replicate online.Leisure on our high streets

In an insightful seminar at Shoptalk, between representatives from the LEGO GroupLevi Strauss & Co. and dan pearlman Group, the panel discussed the need for an injection of leisure to our high streets. There is a difference between buying and shopping, buying is purely transactional, and usually necessities. Shopping is a leisure activity, a day out, a wander around with a coffee and picking up things you didn’t think you needed! Successful retailers will encourage shopping and give their customer a fantastic experience from the moment they step in the door, immersing them in the brand’s world.

“City centres are coming back. Cities need to evolve to become leisure destinations, not to the level of Disney-fication, but bring back play, and dwell and connection” dan pearlman 

If struggling high streets invested in a variety of coffee stops, eateries, and attractions, it would encourage visitors to stick around, browse, eat and in turn likely spend more than they initially intended. Improving public facilities such as parking, toilets and accessibility can also have a huge impact on the success of a high street.

To aid retailers in creating a ‘shopping not buying’ mindset, they should consider the brand immersion and experience. Customers are looking for more, especially Gen Z customers. Another seminar entitled, ‘Reinventing Experiential Retail’ featured speakers; Howard Sullivan, Founder & Executive Creative Director, YourStudio and Claire Valoti, Vice President EMEA, Snap Inc.

Howard Sullivan discussed the traditional KPIs in selling environments; store sales, sales per sqft, footfall and average basket value. However, new KPI’s (in addition to the above) should include engagement analytics, experience advocacy and the halo effect, these are the key to creating a successful bricks and mortar store.

To achieve these KPI’s, retailers and brands should consider their spaces to be… 

Purposeful & emotive – Human values create spaces that are mindful, have a ‘feel-goodness’ about them, are sensory, joyful spaces that provide a sense of wellbeing.

Co-created & collective – This is the art of participation. Bringing together communities. Be aware of your audience, explore the metaverse. Rook perfumes developed a ‘scent of the metaverse’ and it sold out! Crypto kids socialise online, so be there! Be where they need you to be, be where they can collaborate with you. Community has great value, it is influential. Change your retail space to a community space.

Elasticising formats – Think hub-and-spoke, live demo, beta stores where you don’t even leave with a product.

Boundary-less experiences – Retail is an offline cookie in its physical format. Collect your consumers data, Farfetch work smartly with RFID to understand your cache and curate products in store to suit your data! Customers in the Gen Z demographic (roughly those born between 1997 – 2012) expect personalisation from their favourite brands, in fact 76% get annoyed if you don’t personalise!

Resolution Interiors are here to help…

Resolution Interiors have worked with Hayman’s Gin Distillery, and the Bombay Sapphire Distillery in the past, and both spaces had the brief to create a holistic experience for the customer. The retail aspect was lifted with the addition of a distillery tour and tasting; allowing visitors to try before they buy. Retailers, especially those on the high-street, should not doubt the power of giving customers a unique experience.

If this is something you would like to explore further, get in touch today. Together with our sister design studio, Field, we’d love to talk about creating an immersive and experiential environment, to keep your customers entertained for longer.