By Tyler Bradford, Southpace Broker
How well do you remember life before texting? It’s hard to think back to a time when it wasn’t such a big part of our daily activity. I think a new trend called “omnichannel” retailing will be a similar phenomenon. At some point, maybe in less than 5 years, we will have forgotten how we shop today.
The idea of omniretailing is to favor no single retail channel, such as brick-and-mortar, mobile phone, catalogs, etc. but to sell things to people whenever, wherever and however they want.
Everyone has accepted that online shopping is taking significant market share from traditional bricks and mortar. Now the emphasis seems to be on how quick product can get to the customer.
I think we will see more brick and mortar stores transform into a showroom/warehouse format. This means the sales floor will shrink into a show room and the remaining space will store and ship product.
This allows customers to still have the chance to touch and feel a product. They can still walk out the door with a product if they desire or have it shipped to their house the next day.
But more importantly, online orders can be shipped from the customer’s local store. This will save shipping costs and allow for quicker delivery. This may give traditional retailers a leg up on online retailers, like Amazon.
But omniretailing presents quite a few challenges. It will be interesting to see how the Birmingham market adapts to this trend in coming years. Read more in this Shopping Centers Today article, “Counter Revolution.”
Southpace Properties, Inc. is Alabama’s largest independent commercial real estate firm. At Southpace, we add value to the use and ownership of commercial real estate through services such as office, retail, land, warehouse and industrial sales and leasing, tenant and landlord representation, development, consulting, investment sales, property management and construction management. With 12 CCIM designees, Southpace has one of the state’s highest number of CCIM accredited brokers under one roof.