Well-designed shopping areas draw people in, they create spaces that are enjoyable and enticing. Consciously integrating additional amenities such as food markets or dining precincts, with interesting materials and different atmospheres encourages people to come and enjoy the experience, something they can’t get from online shopping. When retailers custom design their store fitouts to reflect the uniqueness of their brand, this too can encourage people to come in store. By leaning in to creating a space that is distinctive, it creates an interesting experience for consumers, piques peoples’ curiosity. The act of shopping can be transformed from a mere transaction to an engaging experience. You can see the success of brands such as Aesop, whose highly designed stores seem to naturally entice people in even without customers actively deciding they need something from the store.

Retailers would do well to consider how they can provide a unique experience to the consumer that provides something extra to online shopping. For instance, in our Forrestfield Forum Shopping Centre Upgrade project, we included flexible external areas that the shopping centre now uses to hold markets, community events, outdoor movie nights, which has drawn large parts of the community back to the shopping centre.

While online shopping certainly has its place in the retail industry, so too do physical shops. With careful design, retailers can tip the scales back to favour them.

Photo Credit: Hawaiian Group.