With the rise of online shopping, retailers have had to get more creative when coming up with concepts and configurations that get foot traffic into their stores. One such concept is the Hybrid Retail Store. This concept appears to be gaining traction with consumers in places like London, New York, and Los Angeles. So, what exactly is a hybrid retail store?
The hybrid retail store combines another kind of premium service with traditional retail. Essentially, it caters to the cash-rich, time-poor consumer of the 21st century, giving him or her another reason to visit the store besides just shopping. For example, Dolce & Gabbana recently opened up a mini barbershop in its London store on the iconic Bond Street, offering shopping and hair grooming all in the same space. Similarly, luxury watchmaker Bremont put a bar in a store to make it a place to unwind with a drink as well as a space to shop, giving it an extra sense of luxury and functionality.
Some stores have also integrated social spaces into their floorplan to give customers a place to gather, as well as one to shop. For example, the Malibu Urban Outfitters boasts an expansive outdoor socialization space complete with lounge chairs and hammocks.
“Hybrid retail spaces are becoming more prominent across the globe as technological and societal changes redefine how we engage with retail. I predict we’ll continue to see a place to shop being a place to socialize, eat, and work, as well,” Dave Palmer recently explained in an interview in Design Week. “As the need for experiential design continues to be important in retail, brands must consider that engaging with customers needs to be more than just fun, it also needs to provide relevant and diverse emotional experiences.”
The bottom line? Brands are increasingly branching out from the traditional concept of a retail space to differentiate themselves from the competition and attract consumers. The hybrid retail store is just one example of this, and consumers should expect to see more hybrid stores opening up throughout 2018.
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