In a story in the New York times by Peter Grant, Grant interviews Mr Cuvillier who was brought in as Chief operating officer six years ago by Unibail-Rodamco SE, the largest listed commercial property owner in Europe.
Mr. Cuvillier said he sees a bright future for what he calls “experience shopping,” an activity that combines shopping with dining and entertainment. Online shopping will never substitute for the social and consumer experience of visiting a store, especially one that is well designed. I visited such a store in down town Summerlyn Nevada, Lindbegh & Lindbergh Café, combining trendy men’s wear with a ultra-lounge, bar and light fair in one location.
“The size of your brand on an iPad or computer is exactly the size of any other brand,” he pointed out. “Therefore it’s very difficult as a brand to differentiate yourself because your mixed with everybody else.”
Stores also have other advantages: Retailers can interact with customers face to face and get immediate responses to new products. Consumers responses to new products. Consumers returning items they bought on line are more likely to make additional purchases, something can’t do dropping a package in the mail says Cuvillier.
But the cost of designing, building and maintaining an experience store is high.