Author: Heidi Roberts, 18 August 2017

Most of FSP’s clients own, invest in, develop or manage retail centres of some description; the remainder are retailers themselves.  So, the view we have here is all-encompassing and we see that the retail relationship gets ever-further away from the need-fulfilment days of yore.

I need something, I buy something, I pay the price is replaced by I want something (how much shopping is necessity driven these days?!), I click an App (ASAP54, Snap Fashion and now ASOS make imitation the sincerest form of convenience shopping) and I have dozens of variations on the theme in a range of prices, from which to choose . Competition becomes even more fierce when retailers cannot rely on the lethargy of their customers to prevent comparisons being made; it’s all there at the click of an App.


But, step back for a minute.  Doesn’t this make the whole shopping experience more frenzied? After all, how many maxi dresses in teal does one want to browse before buying? 

At FSP we know, through years of asking the questions, that shoppers, if they’re not just shopping out of necessity, want an experience.  From a centre which magically seems to know what shops they like, to the retailers which welcome them through the doors and make them feel so damned good.

Then, where there is still a necessity (birthday cards? toothpaste?), online has generated a need for physical space to over-deliver; there might not be a need for the kind of experience which, with a great deal of razzmatazz delivers a comprehensive marketing plan, but shoppers love to feel they’re important enough for centres and stores to offer them a bright, clean and safe environment.


You can’t skip technology altogether – thanks to Google Lens, your smartphone will soon know much more about what’s going on around you than you do – but forsaking it for a while as you dodge the latest bandwagon to focus on finding out who your customers are, what they want, where they live and where they could be persuaded to shop, will build loyalty and allow you to make smarter decisions and generate better returns.

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