Since this still-young century commenced, the onrush of e-commerce has commanded the attention of the retail industry, and housewares and home furnishings categories, but 2019 may mark a turning point in the prospects of the physical store as new ideas applied to brick-and-mortar operations offer consumers fresh and frequently intriguing propositions.
In its March 1 cover story, Year of the Store, HomeWorld Business explores how the development of omnichannel operations has made the brick-and-mortar store an asset in a retail market where players are finding new ways to serve shoppers. Major retailers are reconsidering how they engage consumers, with the result that physical retail locations have become strategic assets in corporate strategic development. Although many initiatives have emerged as the result of the e-tailing evolution, even retailers that have been wary of e-commerce have responded to the changing market by updating operations, using fresh thinking and applicable, frequently behind-the-scenes, technology to make stores more enticing to a consumer who, today, has an ever-expanding range of shopping options.
Retailers are embracing emerging technology and fresh thinking that addresses online and in-store operations separately and together, with the result that physical stores again have become central to initiatives that will provide consumers with more convenient, more personalized and more satisfying experiences.
For more on the Year of the Store, see the March 1 issue of HomeWorld Business.