Before the pandemic the commonly held view was that Stores would need to adapt to become showrooms and centres for experience and engagement, the high street was 'dead' and only out of town shopping centres offering entertainment and food would survive.
2020 has started a rethink. The growth in online use in all categories, across all ages and demographics and even for small baskets is clear. And who wants to have an in-store experience socially distant and wearing a mask? Once again the death of the store is prophesied.
But as Retail Week notes, Sky are pushing ahead with an interactive format. This may well be both brave and wise. Once the COVID crisis is behind us two things will surely be true. 1) We will want to be out of our houses and mixing in social settings as much and as often as we can. 2) Stores will have to work even harder to become the social setting of choice.
The store of the future has to be re-invented (again).