Nancy McClure, First Vice President, CBRE Tucson | Real Estate Daily News
Sensational headlines proclaiming the demise of physical retail have grabbed the attention of the public recently. However, consumers are still making the majority of their purchases in brick and mortar stores. Shoppers are looking for more than merchandise, they are looking for human experiences, connectivity, and the ability to touch and feel the product. The lines between where purchases are made has been blurred. Customers browse on-line and buy in-store; buy on-line and pick-up or return in-store; try on in-store and buy on-line. The rules have changed, and purchasing habits have transformed, as well.
The challenge for physical retail is to differentiate themselves, provide excellent customer service and interesting, relevant products. The challenge for landlords is to create exceptional experiences, those that over-paid for properties are having difficulty pivoting to reduce rents and meet the market. The science of retail is changing at warp-speed and everyone is working to keep up. Demographics, not e-commerce is the number one disruptor in retail.