By John Morris, Head of Logistics & Industrial Services, Americas at Cushman & Wakefield
It might seem that there is less demand for retail bricks-and-mortar space in recent days, but that might not be the case for much longer. There is, without a doubt, a disruption in the retail world– one that has hit hard. There is a major difference today in what spaces are needed, and who needs them, where, compared to even just a year ago… Fortunately, however, there may not be a significant net loss but a change in the kinds of spaces offered. It is a challenge that will force everyone involved in the retail world to adapt and advance their business in the next few years.
However, Cushman & Wakefield sees a solution– Combining retail expertise with industrial and supply chain knowledge has afforded our current clients a more inclusive, more robust approach. Having these two services work closely together in retail space planning increases the success rate of retailers across the globe, allowing them a more fluid platform to conduct their business and execute sales. There are three major words I think fit with, and describe, the combination of retail and industrial disciplines…
First, eCommerce: A retail store that has the entire consumer experience online. But pure eCommerce will not last on its own for the long haul, as it is slowly being replaced with a more seamless shopping approach. Pure-play eCommerce will become more isolated and category specific in the near future… even Amazon has big brick and mortar ambitions. As the demands of the consumer grow, the retail world is turning to the second word– omni-channel. Omni-channel and experiential retail offers a vast array of purchasing options. This has been talked about for a few years now, but it seems like 2017 is the first year where it has really been seen implemented more broadly. Now customers expect any item, at any service level, at any time of the day, from any channel, and if needed, to be returned anywhere. This is a significant supply chain challenge that requires the retail and industrial experts to work together. We have all be talking about omni-channel; now it’s happening.
And third, a term branded by Cushman & Wakefield: newCommerce. This is the expression of the retail paradigm in the time of the omni-channel experience. Having executed on more eCommerce real estate than any other provider, Cushman & Wakefield is in the prime position to carry the torch. We are extremely proud that Cushman and Wakefield has both the top retail services platform and the top industrial service platform in the Americas real estate service market today. We are bringing to market, to our brokers and clients, first-hand experience and expertise that is unparalleled.
Right now, in this time, we face a great opportunity that we can realize through more robust collaboration, by connecting Cushman & Wakefield’s Logistics & Industrial platform with our Retail services and eCommerce expertise. The connection is undoubtedly driven by bricks-and-mortar experiential retail, omni-channel shopping and the marriage of their back-end supply chain functions. We are on the edge of the evolving consumer experience; newCommerce will allow our clients the greatest opportunity for success.
Every day the retail landscape continues to evolve. Even though news of store closures continues to pile up, it is probable that the revenue lost at the store level will be replaced with the opportunity created by newCommerce. The retailers and the service providers that evolve, that pivot their market face towards an understanding of and acceptance for this evolution will have a better chance to be successful… Cushman & Wakefield is prepared to make that happen.
To view John Morris’ Video Interview from “Live at RECon 2017!” CLICK HERE.
Executive Managing Director
Logistics & Industrial Service Line Lead for the Americas