With less and less brick and mortar stores on our streets, many have wondered what will happen in the world of retail. Companies like Amazon and Rent the Runway have people doing more online shopping than ever before. As a result of these changes, it seems that retail is changing as we know it.
With people working longer hours and traveling farther for work, people are spending less time at home. Any spare time they do have is reserved for friends and family. With less time on their hands, people don’t seem to enjoy the traditional shopping experience like they used to.
This is where a new facet of shopping has burst onto the scene. Many Millenials are spending countless hours in “co-working” spaces, which, until recently, was an untouched hub for the shopping scene.
Many coworking companies have already begun to integrate retail into their spaces. It’s not uncommon to walk into a co-working space and see a self serve section filled with beverages and snacks that can be purchased at their discretion. Some companies have taken it a step further and offer a gym on-site that workers can access at a discount. The question that now remains is: Can merging co-working and retail really be done?
It seems that it’s finally occurred to retail companies that they should make better use of their space. With the younger generation moving away from the traditional 9-5 hour workday, they are looking for new spaces to spend their time – and money.
One independent beauty store owner has taken advantage of this in Washington D.C. She sells products for face, hair, and skin in the front of her store, and has transformed the rear into a co-working space.
Her customers are free to stick around after shopping and enjoy a healthy snack bar, yoga sessions, and essential oils used to encourage concentration. This has opened an entirely new avenue of customers for her. Customers often come for her products, but stay to enjoy the atmosphere and the energy of the space.
On a much larger scale, many companies are following suit. They are looking into improving the general shopping experience for their customers by providing co-working spaces to promote the community. For example, Kohls has decided to open Planet Fitness locations adjacent to some of their existing store locations. Staples locations in Boston began offering its Workbar Space in 2016 to appeal to those looking for a coworking space. These “Workbars” offer free wifi as well as meeting rooms.
With the percentage of remote workers steadily on the rise, it’s safe to assume that these co-working spaces will continue to gain popularity among younger generations. Visiting these spaces filled with like-minded people gives these remote workers a sense of community. By combining retail with these existing spaces, it has changed the retail experience as we know it. If you are considering a retail or Co-working space for your business within the Greater Boston and South Shore area, be sure to call Quinn & Associates today!