Publications

- December 1, 2021: Vol. 33, Number 11

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What’s next for retail? Unwrapping changing expectations for the retail experience

by Beth Mattson-Teig

Experiential retail was all the rage heading into 2020. As the retail sector continues to gain momentum in its recovery, are consumers and landlords ready to pick up where they left off prior to the COVID-19 pandemic?

The simple answer is yes. Strategies across discretionary retail assets, such as malls and lifestyle centers, that focused on increasing food and beverage offerings, entertainment, placemaking, and densification are still very much in play today. The broader answer is a bit more complicated because the “retail experience” is ever changing and means different things to different people. Shopping center owners are keeping a close eye on shifts in consumer demographics, behaviors and preferences, along with the continued ripple effects of omnichannel retail strategies. What types of retail experiences will consumers want in the future, and how does retail need to reinvent itself to meet those demands?

“The three things that get people into stores and s

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