Small Is The Next Big Story And Big Box Fatigue

I never go into malls and walk around and or shop. Why… they are boring, boring, boring. Same stores with the same merchandise I see over and over again on Social Media. Sales mean nothing anymore, a huge yawn, it still is the same old story, which is why Big Retail including Mass Merchants are going small.

Big Box Retailers such as Best Buy, Ikea, Target and Wal-Mart have introduced smaller stores as they expand into urban areas. In a Price Waterhouse Coopers and TNS Retail study on Retailing Trends in 2015: the new consumer will seek out “niche products and experiences uniquely suited to their tastes, interests and aspirations.”

Ikea Mini Store Image:
Ikea Mini Store Image: The Valley Stream 

With this in mind  retail experts are predicting that there will be new opportunities for independent and specialty retailers which includes eyecare professionals.

There are many reasons for this trend:

  • Consumers are not looking for big-box same old stuff you can find anyplace.
  • Consumers, especially baby boomers and Millennials are looking for unique shopping experiences that specialty and small retail operations can offer.
  • Consumers are looking to support local businesses who contribute back to the community. Companies such as American Express who launched Small Business Saturday, the growth of Farmers Markets, the marketing for Made in America  have lead to a consumer awareness of supporting their communities.
  • Consumers are looking for more customer-centric retail experiences, which includes building relationships with the staff and personalized service. Big Retail is about selling product and turns, small Retail can capitalize by selling the Experience.
  • Consumers are looking for more socially responsible goods from more eco -friendly companies. Easier for the small retailer to get their message across.
  • Consumers are looking for accessibility and convenience of neighborhood shopping also known as Main Street Shopping. The retailers that can will win are those who are evolving into curated shopping experiences and those who know their demographics.
  • The More is Better Mentality, meaning the bigger the selection is not always better.
  • Big Box and Chain Stores look alike. Sale after Sale of the same old boring thing. The consumer is looking for different. Small retailers can adjust more quickly to trends and offer the cool, exciting and unique.
Walmart Neighborhood Market: Image Credit
Walmart Neighborhood Market: Image Credit Mechtronics 

In conclusion:

  • Make sure your office is interesting and customer-centric.
  • Re-look at your product assortment and evaluate how it fits with consumer trends.
  • Re-merchandise to make a curated look.
  • Think- less is more.
  • Get involved with the neighborhood community.
  • Stop being boring with the same-o-mentality.