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Seamless multichannel experience 'will keep stores relevant'

Online spend in clothing and footwear will almost double by 2026 but there are ways to keep physical stores relevant, according to property research consultancy CACI.

Click and collect

 

A third of clothing and footwear sales will be made online in 2026, compared to 18% today, CACI has predicted. 

Creating a shopping experience where a bricks-and-mortar location is part of a wider shopping experience, including click-and-collect, is key to managing this shift in shopping behaviours, according to CACI consulting partner Paul Langston.

“When you get people into the stores, there are ways to increase spend,” he said. ”One way is to include a café space that will increase dwell times. It’s all about creating a seamless multichannel experience for shoppers.”

Langston added that, despite current trends, in 10 years’ time the majority of money will still be spent in stores. The brands that understand the need to find “disruptive retail space”, such as pop-ups, rather than relying wholly on traditional flagship sites, will be most likely to succeed.

“It’s not that those flagship sites will become irrelevant, but it’ll be about finding a mix between the two to stay relevant,” he said.

“It can be harder for the older, bigger retailers like Marks & Spencer because they’ve got large legacy sites they have to think about. But some larger names, such as Next, have a really nice mix. So it can be done.”

Langston added that, despite the move to online, a physical store “will always be the best way to signpost your brand”.

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