Retail is Slowly Changing

When I hear the ads espousing the new retail, I cringe. Many are from the same old companies who have come out of bankruptcy doing the same thing with a decent campaign. There are fundamental changes that have to take place. You can’t put lipstick on a pig.

But there are a few bright spots. A new hotel in Lake Como will have completely shoppable suites designed by architect Patricia Urquiola. Just like restaurants are beginning to find other means of revenue, such as a wine club or curated products that you can also buy there, hotels should be selling anything in the room. If you love it, order it and take it home or course be delivered.

The other brilliant bright spot is Popup Grocer. A 30-day pop-up carrying hundreds of the most innovative products that you won’t necessarily find at your local grocer. Grocery still runs like it is 1953, and the brands of the past, such as Coke, Pepsi, and General Mills, own the shelves. There was a short burst of innovation in the ’80s, but it is time for more. The entrepreneur behind this is Emily Schildt.

A while back, I wrote about the Future Perfect installing an entire brownstone in the West Village. Everything was for sale. There have been others who have done this, such as the Line. I read about an entire shoppable living concept launched by Kelly Behun.

Brown’s new retail concept in London is about inviting people in the store, like your home, where you can experience, shop and chat. An in-store app that shows only what is available in the store, making the experience seamless.

There are more direct-to-consumer brands launching daily, but I am looking forward to more innovative retail concepts as we get out of our homes. We might all shop online but the reality is good in-store experiences will always exist. The time is ripe for new brick-and-mortar innovations.