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Reinventing retail in the wake of COVID-19 may mean reinventing retail formats. As the discussion turns to reopening, non-essential locations — malls included — will need to consider old issues like total footprint and new ones like shopper distancing.

“As retailers and brands grapple with big questions related to reopening stores, it’s clear from our findings that consumers have varying degrees of comfort within different store environments and formats,” said Greg Petro, CEO of retail predictive analytics company First Insight. “As retail visits expand past essential retail like grocery and drug stores, other retailers, and malls in particular, need to be thinking of ways to inspire a sense of safety for consumers, and it will need to go beyond offering gloves and masks at the door. It’s also likely that retailers will see more men in-store than women, and they should consider adjusting inventory to target these shoppers.”

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