REAL ESTATE

Eight out of 10 retailers say they need stores; only half of consumers agree

BY Al Urbanski

An international study conducted by Capgemini found 80% of retail executives believing in the sanctity of the physical store. Only 45% of shoppers, however, felt the same way.

The consulting company’s Digital Transformation Institute surveyed 6,000 consumers and 500 retailers in the U.S., China, and seven European nations and found a consumer base much more taken up with technology and online shopping than leading merchants were.

The good news for stateside brick-and-mortar operators is that shopper dissatisfaction was lowest here, where only 29% of consumers said they considered going out to shop a chore. That compared to 54% in Sweden and 49% in Spain.

Seven out of 10 shoppers globally admitted they still want to touch and feel products before they buy, but opined that stores needed to add more digital features — such as online inventory checking — to make store shopping more efficient. More than half also expressed the desire for better in-store experiences like cooking classes and workshops.

“What is clear from this report is that [stores] still have a big role to play, but the industry is going to see a fascinating struggle take place in the next few years to decide what exactly the new breed of retail store looks like,” said Capgemini Retail Lead Kees Jacobs.

More than half of retail executives surveyed agreed that they have been slow in digitizing their physical stores.


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