The Decline of Main Street, the Rise of Multichannel Retail
Six years into the economic crisis, companies have learned that they must go wherever consumers congregate and engage them there: in a flagship store on a prime shopping street; in a pop-up store calculated to surprise passers-by in an unexpected location; on the Internet; on their smartphones; in social media networks; or combining the online experience with a click-and-collect service, where goods purchased online can be picked up from a local collection point. Any channel is good, so long as it allows companies to connect with increasingly elusive consumers. But there are other reasons for the proliferation of retail formats, beyond the economic situation. This article reviews the factors that influence the way we shop today, and how these factors affect retail formats. It also looks at how different formats can be integrated into a multichannel strategy.