Whilst Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks is saying that he feels that last Christmas was the tipping point for online retailing to really effect “bricks” retailers, we now have online retailers opening “bricks” stores. I first observed this last year when HTV opened “pop up” stores to promote their online store in the USA.
Now we have Shoes of Prey doing the same thing in Sydney, Australia. This is a local online retailer who allows customers to design their own shoes. Online retailers have developed holograms and computer models to make sure the customer is happy with the shoe and the fit, but many consumers still want to “feel” the product before they buy as they want to find the perfect fit.
Shoes of Prey have therefore opened a store where they can engage with the consumer and customers can get involved with the product. They can buy in store, but they cannot walk out with it, that still is an online service.
This means the retailer does not have to store product on site, but can provide a great service.
We are going to see more retail sites being used as service sites rather than selling sites and be prepared for more online retailers to open up a physical shop in the future.