Evolution of Physical Space in Retail and Hospitality

July 2021

Physical space has been undergoing drastic changes as a result of the huge shift towards e-commerce, adoption of new technology as well as the impact of the global pandemic. Re-thinking space and building layouts, providing touchless payment or reconfiguring amenities has thus elevated the need for multifunctional and interconnected buildings that help enhance user experience and deliver sustainable offerings that resonate strongly with customers in the hospitality and retail sectors.

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Key findings

Consumer demand for a safe environment will continue to shape physical spaces 

Re-thinking space and building layouts, providing touchless payment or shopping options or reconfiguring amenities altogether will help meet rising consumer demand for safety and hygiene. 

Digital tools are no longer “nice to have” but essential for survival post-pandemic

Optimisation of physical spaces through automation and digital infrastructure will help companies go beyond functionality to elevate customer service. Taking a holistic approach by incorporating digital tools will help boost consumer engagement across each stage of the customer journey.

Human interaction and service will remain the core principle of hospitality

While technology is a necessary part of the post-pandemic consumer experience, consumers also crave connection with human employees who are positioned to elevate service and drive better, more personalised experiences.

Companies are re-defining the playbook by embracing multi-purpose and sustainable outlets

Physical spaces are being re-designed to distinguish themselves from a world of online options, leaning in on experience-driven service and creative use of space. Companies are choosing more multi-purpose, multi-concept and sustainable outlets fit for a post-pandemic marketplace.

Immersive experiences - key differentiator for brands and players

Building emotional connection, adapting and evolving with the aim to stand out from the crowd through immersive technologies and structures will help buildings embrace more hybrid and multi-location approaches.

Scope
Key findings
Reimagining physical space vital to curate new services and elevate user experience
Evolution of Physical Space in Retail and Hospitality
Exploring the Evolution of Physical Space in Retail and Hospitality
Physical Spaces in Retail and Hospitality continue to evolve over time
Evolution of Physical Space in Retail and Hospitality in-depth
Micro formats
Phygital spaces and experiences
Hospitality front and centre
Embracing “smart” automation
Automation is changing how we view physical space
Space repurposing
Rise of communal spaces
Evolution of Physical Space in Retail and Hospitality in focus
Companies are meeting the needs of consumers using various strategies
Micro hotels with urban vibe for greater utility and higher service: Hilton
Coherent and integrated shopping journey: adidas Dubai outlet
Return of the concierge: Elsewhere.io - a travel agent’s travel agent
Heightened need for automation: London City Airport
Mixing work with play: Hyatt’s “Work from Hyatt” packages
Offering marketplace sellers and buyers communal space to connect: eBay
Evolution of Physical Space in Retail and Hospitality
Key industry takeaways
Challenges to overcome
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