MIAMI—Experiential retail. It’s a trend that’s not only gaining momentum, it’s springing up across the board as retail shifts to meet new consumer demands. Some are saying experiential retail projects like Avalon in Atlanta could transform the industry.
“Restaurants and retailers are learning to become omnichannel, focusing on how to better align themselves with their customer base and how to win and keep loyal customers,” says Brian Bern, a senior director of real estate services at Franklin Street. He previously filled us in on the cause and effect of shrinking retail inventory.
As an example of experiential retail, Bern points to Whole Foods. The organic grocer has a blog where it posts recipes, cooking tips and more. Shoppers follow their blog and come in to buy the products and items featured.
“Nordstrom has restaurants and bars located within their traditional department stores, while attracting more customers online and at their off-priced Nordstrom Rack locations,” Bern says. “Shopping center owners and managers are paying more attention to the retail mix in their centers. They are seeking retailers that offer an experience in order to drive additional and repeat traffic to their centers.”
What’s ahead for Florida retail? Bern notes population growth in Florida is once again strong and should continue at a healthy pace. What’s more, tourism continues to set all-time records, which means more dollars are being spent in Florida’s restaurants and retail centers.
“This bodes well for the long-term outlook,” he says. “We anticipate an uptick in new construction moving forward, with retail rents steadily rising. New development and redevelopment projects will continue to be a welcome site after a long recovery from the Great Recession.”