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HighStreet Takes Manhattan, and Main Street – Meeting Retail’s Challenges

From the folks at HighStreet there’s always fresh and interesting perspectives on what’s driving Retail – and how technology can help stores and brands reinvent themselves in the face of disruption. Bringing a combination of Agency, Brand, and technology experience to the table, Laura Davis Taylor, Ed King, and team are bringing fresh approaches to big challenges on all fronts.The biggest challenge being Non-store retail – driven by online today, and with mobile and tablet commerce adding to the disruption in 2020.

HighStreet coined the term Destination Retailing because they feel the store’s role has changed. It’s no longer just a place to buy things, but also a place with potential for community, experiences, creation and more.

In a recent conversation with Laura, the Co-Founder of HighStreet Collective, the consultancy “hyper-focused on innovating the in-store shopping experience to meet the demands of today’s digitally-enabled shopper,” I got an update as she was just returning from the NRF show and the city stores of New York that are in many ways a retail lab.

Particularly intriguing was discussion of “the end of the middle’” in retail. “Retail moving into high price/high experience and low price/low experience—and those in the middle needing to differentiate or die.”

I’ve seen this play out on the retail street – because even as we all love the new experiential moves by the luxury retailers and the smarter big box retailers that are trying new things (and using more interactive and/or display technology), there’s a simultaneous proliferation of streamlined retail with no cashiers just automated checkout, and no frills design intended to get the shopper in and out ASAP.

“A new, polarized retail landscape,” says Davis-Taylor. “So it’s important that retailers and brands know what tools to bring to find the right strategy to win.”

“This retail phenomenon we are currently enduring is nothing but life on its typical course of evolution,” Laura said. “Our world has evolved, our culture is ever-evolving, technology is changing almost everything about how we live, communicate, create and solve our challenges. The message is crystal clear to retail along with others: evolve accordingly or get left behind.”

Look here next week for a link to a new article from Laura explaining the new retail landscape. To see a video from HighStreet’s Ed King on the new 5th Ave Nike Flagship store in Manhattan, click here.

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