The Changing Face of Retail Stores

Next iteration will include pop-ups, theme-based stores, fulfillment centers

Author: Rebecca Chadwick

March 17, 2017

As times change for retail, industry professionals expect traditional stores will be replaced with newer models.


A new report from Avanade, a provider of digital cloud services, and EKN Research found that while nearly 80% of retailer professionals worldwide currently believe traditional sales are the primary business function of stores, that will change in the next two to three years.

By 2020, traditional sales activities will fall to the bottom of what retailers expect from stores. At the top will be theme-based stores, fulfillment centers and pop-ups.

Of course, retailers are already introducing these new creations. Snapchat recently opened up its second pop-up store for its Spectacles in Venice, Calif., and the new Foot Locker in New York’s Times Square includes several “shop-in-shops” (shops within a store, each with its own cash registers) with one themed around basketball.

Although respondents in the survey currently place these three types at the bottom of the main functionality of stores, they still seem to be top of mind—over half believe pop-ups are one of the main focuses of stores.

Amazon announced earlier this month that it plans to install solar panels on 50 of its fulfillment facilities by 2020. That coincides with the Avanade/EKN Research study, which shows 46% of retailers believe fulfillment centers are one of the key tasks of stores today.


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