Debating the Future of Stores

Retailers have, for some time now, been battling against the pressures of sustained Covid lockdowns, store closures and ongoing supply chain disruptions. The retail sector employs millions of people and thousands of stores support livelihoods and local communities across the globe. But could the rise in online retail eventually replace the need for stores altogether? Could robots do a better job than humans? Doubtful. While there’s no denying that online retail is growing and here to stay, stores - and the staff they employ - still work wonders with consumers

And so continues the long-standing debate about the future of shopping and the role of the store. Many retailers are having to provide increased support for staff and look at new ways of providing better customer service for the more connected consumer. For instance, French childrenswear retailer, Tape à l’Œil, has been introducing more technology in stores as part of its omnichannel drive for offering a unique shopping experience for customers – including engaging the local community through social media initiatives and in-store attractions like English lessons for kids or hairdressing for parents. Global cosmetics brand L’Oréal has learnt a few tricks from some of its popular online beauty styling and skin-testing services and replicated virtual reality and live-shopping events in many stores around the world.

Training staff in how to use more in-store technologies and social media to better serve the modern-day consumer is vital. For retailers with numerous stores in different parts of the world, having a single retail platform – that’s easy for staff to use and already set up for each country, language and local regulations – makes things a lot easier. Cegid clients – like swimwear brand Banana Moon and sports shoe retailer Courir – have found that opening new stores abroad is much easier using Cegid’s unified commerce POS platform. And with more retailers having to add more omnichannel services like “click-and-collect” and mobile devices in stores, many are being lured by Cegid’s latest store solution, Cegid Retail Live Store.

 

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