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of the disruption has already occurred,” saysGarrick Brown, Cushman & Wakefield’s VPof retail intelligence, Americas.
Anjee Solanki, Colliers International’snational director of retail services, believesbrick-and-mortar stores will continue tohave a role in retail, even though they maytake on a different look.
“People want flexibility,” she says. “Theydon’t want someone to tell them they canonly shop online. They want to be educatedon the product and they want to price shop.”Another pre-coronavirus trend that willlikely become more prominent as retailsettles into a new normal is partnershipsamong the stores that have survived.
Even before the coronavirus, space sharing had been a growing trend. Kohl’sdepartment store and Aldi’s grocery chain,as one example, had been partnering toshare space in some areas. The Aldi partnership is on a trial run in the Midwest anda Kohl’s location in Abilene, Texas, hasgiven up a portion of its space to Aldi’s,which is now under construction.
Duke of IDC Retail Insights says part-
nering with another store, such as the
Kohl’s-Aldi experiment, is an example of
natural evolutions that are healthy in
retail. “You don’t play defense, you play
offense,” he says. “The Kohl’s group is
playing offense with this one.”
Kohl’s, in fact, has experimented with a
number of partnerships, including offering
to take Amazon returns during the past
Another example, according to Brown,
is Starbucks, which “can’t keep track of the
number of brands that would like to part-
ner with them,” he says. “You will see more
partnering and it will become standard,” he
goes on to predict. “Retail marketplaces will
look almost like a food court model, except
retailers will be in smaller, rotating spaces.
These will pop up in every major city.”
Experts also predict continued reimag-
ining of power centers into neighborhood
markets once the coronavirus has passed.
Such an example might be a grocery on the
bottom floor of an urban residential high
rise. Naveen Jaggi, president, advisory ser-
vices for JLL, says a lot of retailers were tak-
ing a “test and learn” approach to these
concepts prior to the coronavirus.
“They were exploring the ideas of
shorter-term leases,” he says. “They may
open up a new concept store, let it run for
a few years, get some results, and see
whether that warrants expansion or
whether they should pull back or rethink it.
Having the agility to do something differ-
ent with a space enables retailers to think
more openly about new concepts.”
That is likely to continue, Jaggi says, as
retailers look for novel ways to share the
burden that they are facing.
A related trend, according to Collier’sSolanki, is the opening of concept storeswith a smaller footprint.
Solanki, who is based in San Francisco,observes that retail brands in UnionSquare no longer need two or three levelsand can comfortably operate in 50% lessspace. She attributes it to the convergence of online and offline with retailers