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I just experienced my first backcountry camping trip a few months ago, and REI helped to make it a fun, safe adventure. REI is one perfect example of why stores are not going to die. In this article I’ll share five reasons why the store is here to stay based on my experience with REI. And these tips really can apply to all retail brands.

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“Store is the new black”! The store is clearly undergoing a major transformation, serving as a link between physical and digital retail. An on-off complementarity which is increasingly encapsulated in pop-up stores, favouring innovative services for an ever more connected consumer.

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© Lionesque Group
© Lionesque Group

Brick and mortar continues to redefine itself with an updated look thanks to the Internet of Things driving customer engagement with tactile and sensorial experiences and turning the store back into a competitive advantage for brands and retailers. Hardware and software companies are working hard to stay ahead of the technology curve that continues to drive consumer demands and expectations. But while, companies like IBM, Intel and Elo are leading the charge, only about 20 percent of retailers can currently provide a highly personalized and digitally integrated in-store shopping experience.

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Stock photo © Rawpixel Ltd
Stock photo © Rawpixel Ltd

Today we’re looking at a global shift I call the “mother of all trends:” there are more women in the paid labor force than at any other time in history. If you’re in retail, this is the trend that drives just about everything else, and something you should be monitoring closely. Why? Every time a woman takes a job outside the home, her spending patterns are altered. Not only does she increase her personal and household income, she may travel a different direction on the roadways, wear different clothes, eat different foods, shop at retailers further from home (as well as online), involve other people in caring for her children if she’s a mother, and have a different relationship with money. And that’s just for starters. Consider the following:

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© Textschwester
© Textschwester

Long known as a city of elegant fashion, Düsseldorf has since discovered its hip, gritty side. Take the time to look around downtown and savour the unique blend of the exclusive flair of the “Kö” – insider-speak for the high-fashion boulevard Königsallee – and the new trend-district Flingern. The Retail Academy has put together a list of Düsseldorf’s most exciting stores:

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Confucius says: Aldi cometh soon - © Claudio Zaccherini/Shutterstock
Confucius says: Aldi cometh soon - © Claudio Zaccherini/Shutterstock

Nín hǎo, Aldi, a nation of savers awaits you! Germany’s most profitable discounter is opening an online shop in the People’s Republic of China.

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© BigStock
© BigStock

“How can we compete against e-commerce?”

That’s the question I hear most often from traditional retailers. As a frequent speaker on the subject of marketing and selling to women, the subject comes up in most of the conferences I attend.  And while there are many strategies in play, I often see retailers overlooking their most obvious opportunity: to make their stores such a great experience to visit that people will want to spend time their time and money in them.

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According to the study presented end of January by FEVAD to the Ministry of the Economy and Industry, online sales have continued to increase in 2016.

E-commerce reached 72 billion euro in 2016

In total, French people spent 72 billion euro on the Internet in 2016, up 14.6% over one year, confirming a fresh burst of growth. The one billion mark of transactions online was reached in 2016 with an increase of 23%. This represents 33 transactions per second.

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Paris Retail Week and iloveretail.fr organised for LSA* a store tour of New York’s most innovative retail concepts.

Almost fifty stores were part of this journey including brands like Adidas, Capital One Bank, Eataly, Target, Cadillac House, Devialet, Maille, Purch, Spectacles, Sonos, Suit Supply, Under Armour, etc.

Discover in this article a selection of stores which stand out by their innovative character, by new technologies implemented, by a specific design or merchandising.