Retail’s Transition

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The increase in online shopping has been remarkable, and now represents close to 10% of the overall purchases made in many parts of Canada. The growth in e-commerce, however, isn’t turning out to be the threat everyone expected for brick-and-mortar retail.

Canadians continue to shop in physical stores, and enjoy the engagement especially  when it comes to personal treatments and customer services. One of the biggest transformations becoming apparent  in shopping centres is that they’re becoming unofficial community centres for neighbourhoods, offering social sanctuary for all ages.

Retail, while continuing to draw visitors, is no longer the primary motivation for visiting a shopping center. Visitors are increasingly seeking shopping centres to provide an extra level of experience. Many lifestyle services like restaurants, health care services and fitness centers and spas continues to gain popularity, while other leisure and entertainment features like arcades, indoor water parks and skating rinks are gaining popularity and even becoming the norm for shopping centres.

The digitally-enabled shopping experience is becoming a popular way to connect brick-and-mortar with e-commerce. Retailers are enabled through technology to extend their relationship with customers before and after the physical visit. They can further engage with their shoppers on multiple levels and increase the likelihood of them returning to their shopping centres. Retail is undoubtedly changing dynamically, but brick-and-mortar stores and shopping centres are proving to play an essential role in our society.

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