The retail environment was challenging in 2015, and it hasnít been much easier in 2016. Competitive market competition and pressure on prices are making it more and more difficult for retailers and shopping centres to drive profitability.
However, itís not all doom and gloom said Paul Clifford of Space to trade. ďWeíre part of an ever changing and innovative industry, filled with energy and positive change, which makes it possible to connect with the consumer in fresh and dynamic ways.
ďOne of the most exciting things about retail is that we never know whatís around the corner. Yet at the same time we need to understand whatís evolving, in order to align activities with continually changing consumer behaviour and demands.Ē
One trend to come out of the industry in 2015 was the shift away from retail-only centres to leisure destinations. The rise of ecommerce has turned the internet into a virtual shopping mall and the industry has had to work hard at creating footfall drivers. This has taken the form of new entertainment facilities such as cinemas, beauty kiosks and of course, pop-up events and experiences such as food and craft markets.
The industry is having to work harder than e-commerce to drive footfall and maintain their share. Investment in retail intelligence technology is a key differentiator and customer understanding is everything. Businesses that are using accurate data, delivered to the key decision makers in real time benefit, making it easier it is to keep pace with consumer behaviours.