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Is multiformity the inevitable future of world retail?

Is multiformity the inevitable future of world retail?


Lately, more and more retail news looks like this:

+ the statements of experts, vying for the alleged imminent future bankruptcy of the largest representatives of retail;

+ news from some company that is testing another new format of interaction with the audience;

+ reports that a similar store or shopping mall of the new mixed format is already celebrating its opening somewhere.

So what's going on? E-commerce, to put it mildly, is coming to the classic heel retailer. It's enough to see how Amazon buys large retail companies worth billions of dollars in whole packs to understand which way the wind blows.

The fact is that the modern digital-native generation is basically used to buying online. They no longer spend time with the hand tiresome running through supermarkets for the sake of shopping alone. They will now go to the mall rather for communication, entertainment, new experiences and impressions.

And no matter how good Digital is, and the best customer experience can still only provide direct physical contact between the brand and the customer. That's why retailers who are able to see beyond their own noses are methodically improving their skills in the field of client experience and intervention — in parallel investing in Mobile.

Asia at the cutting edge of modern retailing

В Азии потребители уже принимают мультиформатность как данность

It is most interesting to observe these processes in the markets of Southeast Asia. Why? It is there that the most innovation-sensitive consumers are concentrated, who already take the multi-formatality in the retail sector as a given. And it is there that major brands most often test new formats, business models and retail concepts. Among them, there is even a widespread joke: "If you fail in the Asian market today — tomorrow no one will even think about it".

The average citizen of Singapore, for example, enters the subway and buys fresh food from his smartphone — right in the car on the way to work. He simply picks up the shopping bag from the store on the way home. And why not, in fact, if free Wi-Fi is legal in Singapore at the level of a government decree?

Пример мультиформатного пространства

Cooking workshops right in the grocery stores are becoming a classic of corporate teambuilding in Hong Kong - people buy experience, not just products. There, one of the largest retail chains of dragstores offers professional services to visitors of its stores: a nutritionist, pharmacist, beauty consultant or HMO, a specialist in vitamins - it is already a bundle of goods + service. Premium brands buy facades on several floors just to arrange a giant showcase or museum of the company — for the sake of stringing and powerful wow-effect.

And if in Asia retail already allocates up to 20-25% of its retail space to the intertainment zone, in the U.S. and Europe, this figure is still 15-17% (and in Ukraine, by the way, does not reach 7%). But, as they say, it is still ahead!

New Nordstrom in USA

Кофе-зона в универмаге Nordstrom

A vivid example of how retail is evolving in the U.S., in the fight for his piece of pie — the new department store Nordstrom in New York. "Flagship", which partially opened in April 2018 in Manhattan. Its Men's Store is a real experimental venue. And that's what they're testing now:

  1. New convenient service counters instead of typical units. They are open on all sides and scattered literally all over the sales area — by the walls or islets. They do not need to be searched all over the floor, and you can pay with your smartphone — remotely, even without moving away from shop windows.

  2. The pickup areas are on the second floor for internet orders. Orders are on the open shelves in signed packages — come and get them. Nearby, by the way, is a coffee shop, and the floor above is a wine bar with a chic view of Central Park. There are not many seats, so you can take your coffee and walk around with it throughout the shopping hall — no one will say a word.

  3. Mixed goods from mass and premium brands: next to Nike sneakers for 70 bucks you can see models from Gucci for $ 1200.

  4. Service pickup 24/7 and local delivery the same day — right in the entrance area.

  5. Workshop for individual customization of purchased goods — choose from the catalog a shilde or a patch that you like.

  6. Service for a simple, self-service return (!). No altercations with the staff:
         + perform a couple of simple manipulations with the terminal;

         + put the goods and the printed receipt in the issued package; 

         + put it in a special Drop Box... that's it! Dismissed.

    Nordstrom's new "flagship" will only open in autumn - we stock up on popcorn and wait for the results of these innovations.

Касса удобного обслуживания в Nordstrom

Lifestyle Retail Centers

Another example from the USA, interesting in its scale, is the active replenishment of the American market with such a multi-format retail model as Lifestyle Retail Centers. The Western market, already overflowing with quality offers, has found a rather radical countermeasure to the decline in popularity of supermarkets...

Or maybe Americans just like to do things in a big way? Judge for yourself: instead of wasting efforts to attract and retain tenants, they switched to visitors. They focused on studying the demographics of the local population in order to adapt the architecture of the environment itself. As a result, retail outlets and facilities that best suit the interests, needs and lifestyle of the majority of the local population are concentrated in one place. 

1. Anti Mall The Lab — a teenage market

Зарубежные примеры мультиформатных магазинов

In California, realizing the great potential of the local market of services and goods for teenagers, created a whole shopping "Mecca" for young people — Anti-Mol in Costa Mesa. The total area: about 50,000 square meters. Rebellious design, fashion brands, sophisticated event marketing with endless parties, concerts, photo shoots in the style of Love Story ... All this brought the creators loyalty, traffic, as well as the opportunity to effectively test new products in Central Asia.

Something similar, by the way, made the Art Factory Platform in Kyiv "Darynka".

2. The Camp for active lifestyle supporters

Пример калифорнийского Лайфстайл Центра

Another California LifeStyle Center, located in the same Costa Mesa, is fully focused on products and services for active recreation enthusiasts. This place has a completely different target audience because it is gathered here:

+ products for surfing, diving, kiting, skating, snowboarding, and so on;

+ services (including free) of experts in different types of disputes;

+ master classes, training courses, diet advice;

+ vegan cuisine, eco-products...

3. CityCenter — a market for office workers

CityCenter — рынок для офисных служащих

The CityCenter in Inglewood, Colorado is the aerobatic aerobatics industry's premier Big box concept Lifestyle Center. It is a synergy of retailers, architects and the municipality that has transformed the old Cinderella City Mall, with the usual Walmart in the middle, into a real modern urban attraction. The main bet on the discounter shops of the popular brands did their job — all the "blue collars" that could not afford to buy in Denver stretched out here. Even traffic flows were changed, parking lots and public areas were rebuilt, and new parks, bicycle lanes, beaches, barbecue areas were created.

Ukrainian Examples

It is pleasant to realize that multi-format retail in Ukraine is not standing still and can also boast of successful cases. Below we have collected some of the most interesting cases.

1. Hub "Talent Lab" at MYplay, Dnipro

1. Хаб «Лаборатория талантов» в MYplay, Днепр

What's interesting about MYplay, besides the fact that it's not just a shop-in-shop and anchor tenant in Dafi Shopping Mall, but a whole shopping and gaming space? The first loyalty program among retailers is for children. This is a conceptual change of format, which allowed to attract and retain CA, returning it to the store again and again.

Пример мультиформатного торгового помещения: хаб «Лаборатория талантов» в MYplay, Днепр

2. Make-up studio in Watsons beauty-format shop, Kyiv

 Make-up студия в магазине beauty-формата Watsons, Киев

What is interesting about the new wellness & beauty format of the Watsons store, besides its own exclusive organic cosmetics Naturals, as well as the expanded range of decorative cosmetics and skincare products? A professional make-up studio for "marathoning" and cheering up "without leaving the box office".

Пример микса нескольких форматов: make-up студия в магазине beauty-формата Watsons, Киев

3. WOG Cafe Shop, Boryspil Airport

Кафе-магазин WOG Cafe, аэропорт Борисполь

The catering network WOG has combined shop and cafe formats in a new facility. In addition to drinks and dishes, you can buy the press, various goods on the road. Or you can take advantage of the Pride loyalty program, as in all WOG Cafe and WOG Market, writing off accumulated bonuses for buying any WOG products. Average check and sales of hot drinks at WOG, by the way, have increased by 13% over the year.

4. Kachorovska Store&Cafe, Kiyv

Kachorovska Store&Cafe, Киев

The owners of Kachorovska Store used local coffee for their own benefit. Changing the format of the store to "space for relaxation and shopping", they became a kind of cultural attraction for fans of coffee and update their wardrobe.


Let's summarize all the above briefly and harshly:

War never changes — just progress made another correction to the rules of the game.

Due to the ever-increasing share of online sales in retail, and increasing competition, to offer its audience a quality product at an attractive price - it is no longer enough. In order not to be "on the bench", you must give new interesting experience, valuable service, vivid emotions and impressions of interaction with your brand. The target audience should lose the gift of speech at the sight of your shop windows!