ICSC CenterBuild Takeaways: Retail’s New Normal

As this challenging year comes to an end, it was uplifting for our retail community to virtually engage with one another at the annual ICSC CenterBuild Conference. As one of the premier events for the world of retail development, design, and construction, #TeamHenderson was logged-in and connected with industry professionals from around the globe. This year showcased how quickly retailers adapted to meet their customers’ needs. As stay-at-home orders went into place across the country, the retail and grocery sector had to quickly respond with new processes and distribution/delivery methods that often were not in place at the start of the pandemic.

One common theme we took from the conference is “change.” What initially felt like a temporary hold on typical in-person shopping experiences, as the retail landscape adapted to accommodate online, curbside pick-up, and advanced delivery methods, there has been a long-term impact on customers. It’s not just how the products are getting to customers that’s been impacted, though. Retailers are also learning to handle the vast numbers of returns that the move to shopping online is creating.

This year’s conference was much more focused on how retail is going to embrace the purchasing options that this year transformed. Many of the concepts will require fine tuning and all involved must work together to meet this new expectation.

A few additional key takeaways included:

  • Behaviors changes from buyers are here to stay.
  • Anchors will continue to morph, depending on the surrounding demographics.
  • Brand loyalty is a top driver – standing for something and being authentic will resonate with the next generation of consumers.
  • Strategic inventory control with an emphasis automation.
  • How can incorporating smaller open venues help drive traffic and revenue?

The pandemic has also changed the way retailers utilize technology within the retail sector. From touch-free checkout and mobile point of sale systems to digital signage that amplifies branding efforts, the strategic use of retail technology can have a lasting impact in keeping customers safe while growing revenue.

At Henderson Engineers and Henderson Building Solutions, we don’t just create retail environments, we create environments where the customer experience can thrive. To learn more about our retail expertise, click here.

Written By
Jason Wollum

Retail Sector Executive | Principal

Written By
Steven Neville

Client Sector Practice Director | Principal

Written By
Pablo Mejia

Retail Practice Leader | Principal


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