Perhaps the most indicative trait of the Information Age is the ever-accelerating pace of change. Like so many industries, the retail world has been hit with a shockwave of Amazonian proportions, disrupting consumer behavior, economic policy, technology, and social norms. However, when a pendulum swings dramatically in one direction, it eventually swings back in the direction from which it came, drawing itself slowly toward an equilibrium. The retail pendulum may never reach a perfect balance between where we were decades ago and the height of emerging technology, but there are noticeable signs of movement toward a new middle ground, a balance between traditional retail habits and modern conveniences.
The Country Club Plaza has long been the crown jewel of Kansas City Shopping Centers. A review of its newest tenants is a telling study in retail trends as a whole.
Online retailers opening traditional retail locations
Warby Parker, Casper Mattress, UNTUCKit
These emerging brands, all born and raised online, are joining many legacy retailers in recognizing that a strategic brick-and-mortar presence is a key component to maintaining customer satisfaction and profitable last mile logistics.
Smaller format stores
Nordstrom – Opening 2021
The high-end department store is moving from its current 200,000 sf space inside Oak Park Mall to a newly constructed 122,000 sf store on the Plaza’s west side. This follows a national trend of Nordstrom and other similar retailers opening smaller stores that leverage “an omnichannel shopping experience, more aligned with today’s shopping patterns.”
Entertainment and Experiential Retail
This restaurant and entertainment venue, featuring everything from bowling to craft beers to karaoke, announced plans to open on 47th Street in 2020. Shopping centers across the country are evolving into destinations offering experiences in addition to shopping. These entertainment-focused concepts can be the driving force in attracting consumers the way department and specialty stores were in the past.