Sidewalks Become
The New Aisle

Micro Trends Report

While trying to maneuver the coronavirus outbreak, the retail industry saw businesses in the private and public sector struggle to find ways to keep their doors open. Whether by government mandates, closed malls, or safety precautions, retailers across the globe were forced to close their doors to the public and think of innovative ways to serve their patrons.

As lockdown restrictions begin to let up, social distancing guidelines remain top of mind for consumers. Though previously confined to the four walls of their retail spaces, retailers are beginning to take notes from the restaurant industry. In response to intense lobbying by local businesses, City councils in Oakland, New York City, Miami, and many others have passed legislation allowing restaurants and businesses to set up open-air seating. Local shops (which too have seen a surge since the beginning of COVID-19) are breaking boundaries of their retail spaces, and extending their aisles into the sidewalks. Giving window shopping a whole new meaning, Henry Layte, owner of the UK’s most renowned independent bookstore, The Book Hive is taking advantage of his storefront’s full-length windows to display the front and back of as many books as possible. Shoppers can then browse and place orders for books from the sidewalk. As we look to the future of retail, creativity will be key to keep browsing customers engaged from the street and encourage store-front purchases.

“The ‘new normal’ for retailers will be to work with shoppers in a hands-free way to help them to find what they need while also giving them the space to feel comfortable, particularly with high-risk groups.”

Greg Petro – Chief Executive, First Insight

 

What People Are Saying:


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