Differentiation and unique shopping experiences remain key to these retailers’ success as they marry digital and physical experiences, while providing a diverse product offering.
“The highest ranked retailers are all benefiting from their pro-activity in investing in their stores. This is particularly important against the backdrop of the relentless rise of online penetration, and the increasing focus among luxury brands on [building their own] stand-alone stores,” said Joseph Robinson, retail consulting director of GlobalData.
For Robinson, Selfridges is leading the way in experiential retail. “Selfridges is a great example of a retailer that is not afraid to be bold and different. The Corner Shop, a weekly pop-up, helps pique shoppers’ interest, and creates a reason to visit every week and cements Selfridges’ reputation as a key shopping destination,” he said.
Although global retail is still benefiting from Chinese tourism, Chinese domestic spending has also increased, from 23 percent to 27 percent between 2015 and 2018. Beijing’s Shin Kong Place, designed by Sybarite, has also banked on experiential shopping by offering a careful curation of local, international and lifestyle brands, ranking it among the top five spaces.
According to the report, more than 6.3 million Chinese traveled abroad for Lunar New Year and retailers are tapping into the tourism economy. Via Montenapoleone in Milan is the first European luxury district to launch a WeChat account to provide frictionless payment for Chinese consumers through WeChat pay.
The UAE is also benefiting from high-spend international travelers and The Dubai Mall, which had footfall of 84 million visitors in 2018, is stepping up its retail game and touting the importance of digital and physical integration.
“The UAE consumer base is hyperconnected. Social media penetration is at 99 percent, and 48 percent go online for inspiration. You have to think about the mall as a physical platform that streams branded content and is fully enabled by the digital space,” said Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, chief executive officer of Emaar Malls, developer of The Dubai Mall.