Wolfgang Grunschwitz Grunschwitz

That thesis might still be interesting for trade fairs or whatever, but it doesn’t have a chance in retail stores. It’s really about sources of inspiration, about decorations, actually about touching and spontaneous shopping. The haptic, direct on-site experience is coming back in a big way. If it’s digital, then it’s all done via smartphone.

Entertainment, for me, is the origin of retail. Marketplaces originally were entertainment areas in which social interactions happened and that build and maintained relationships. Even today, retail has to bring people together. If people are spending their time, you have to offer them added value. However, retail has increasingly become a warehouse or a distribution center. It was not demanded otherwise because that was how success was measured. Today, retail has to create a setting in which people feel comfortable. At the same time, it needs to show attitude. Retail has to be looked at more broadly, because without considering sustainability it is no longer possible. So it is not just performing the show and providing the entertainment, but retail also has a teaching mission. We have to get to the point where we sustainably use and re-use more and do not consume everything. And we all – including retail – have to face up to this responsibility.

If I want to communicate with the brand, and if the brand wants to continue to have potential at the point of sale, it has to create the pull or become even stronger. In that respect, you have to ask: okay, how can I connect the experience with my brand even more? As a brand, I need to become active and actually listen more, respond more to individual questions and requirements. But importantly, not every brand will be able to do it either. We agree on that. Likewise, not every retailer will make it either. But also new formats like Retail as a Service: only consulting, consulting, consulting will not be the solution everywhere, there are not so many gimmicks. And the secret of Retail as a Service. Even the trade fairs have specialized at some point, because at the end of the day Retail as a Service is nothing more than a trade fair: I make the producer pay for the space where he presents his product.

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