Two months back, one of the world’s most iconic toy companies closed all its stores in the US after filing for bankruptcy. That was like a signal of the end of the brick-and-mortar retail era.
E-commerce – 1. Physical retail – 0.
However, news then broke that Tencent, together with three other e-commerce retailers, will be forming “the world’s biggest single alliance” with Wanda Commercial to achieve the grand goal of 1,000 Wanda Plazas in China alone in the shortest time possible.
So is physical retail really dead?
It’s just got more interesting.
Consumers still love to touch, see, hear and feel products before they buy them. They just want to do all these in environments that are interesting.
As some experts put it, physical retail is not dead, but boring retail is.
So what will make physical retail interesting? Start by making the store experience a unique one. It’s similar to travelling: Why do we make great efforts to visit the Grand Canyon or the Great Wall of China when we can have a VR or AR experience right at home?
Some things just cannot be replaced – a joyful experience is one of them.