Here are my favourite soundbites from yesteday's Bisnow event "Retail Revolution 2018":

  • "Retail reflects the cultural needs of society" - so say a (welcome) bye-bye to boring, clone-town high streets and spend time understanding what the community actually needs.
  • "The internet didn't kill retail, but mediocrity did" - retailers can't afford to be complacent, but need to adopt to rapidly changing consumer behaviours. Along the same lines, "retail isn't dying, our imagination is" and "what once was safe, no longer is relevant".
  • "Retail destinations need a creative vision" - no longer can you think in terms of anchors, but think of "where do people want to be on a Saturday afternoon and doing what?" This sort of place-making thrives when landlords listen to what the locals actually want.
  • "Landlords need to become retail curators" - acting as enablers and facilitators, bringing in "best in class local operators" alongside successful national brands...forget the department store and focus on the consumers' life - re-invent the space as a basement gym, ground floor flexible office space for local entrepreneurs, a first floor street food market, a second floor retail outlet and roof terrace gardens.
  • "Tax online retailers for their road usage" - the outdated business rates system is unfair to bricks & mortar occupiers and a solution to address this must be found urgently...when will central government listen?

What do you think is the key (r)evolution that retail needs to make?