With the emergence of digital and online shopping many have long expected physical retail stores to slowly fade away, however that is not the case.

Instead of taking the place of physical retail space, retailers are finding that best practice is to integrate their digital presence with their physical space, creating a whole new shopping experience.

These trends are now shaping the future of the retail industry and play a role in how retailers continue to establish themselves and evolve. Hightower explained these implications further:


Some retailers who have started online have now decided to open physical stores due to the high demand from their customers. Having a physical presence is important for those buyers interested in the experience of seeing the product in real life and engaging with a brand. Some of the installments of physical stores don’t even have to do as much with the consumer experience, but are more focused on marketing their physical presence in high-end shopping districts where they will be seen by tourists and consumers and become associated with other high-end brands.

In terms of this experience the most important factor is being strategic about the location of the store and performance of the location.

International Development

European retailers are bringing their stores to the United States in order to promote brand awareness to a larger audience. Smaller brands start in bigger market such as New York and those with strong retail presence in other parts of the world are more confident about their success in the US despite the difficulty that can come with it.


Integrating technology into physical stores is a major factor in continuing success. Incorporating tablets and smartphones into purchasing, as well as offering deals through apps are just a few ways digital and physical are being combined. Also offering a variation of products only online or only in store as incentives.

In terms of real estate this means that retailers have shifted their focus on what they are looking for within a space and for the most part are technology driven. Also smaller stores with a strong online following may be looking to break out into a physical space.

Read the full article on Hightower. 

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