Retail in the 21st Century

The Effects of Online Retail on Traditional Shopping

The shift is happening. Digital retail is here and it is here to stay. But what about our more familiar friend, traditional retail.

white door retail space

Over the past fifteen years, there has been a major shift in the retail industry. Traditional retailers are still around, though they have seen a new and disruptive player join the party.

Shopping used to be a straightforward matter. One would require an item, go to the shop, purchase it, and bring it back home. Today, it is even easier. Consumers go on Amazon, click on the product they want to buy and it arrives the next day. One could then ask the question of why to go to the store at all. That is because shoppers don’t just shop to buy a good, they want to enjoy the experience, explore new brands, or simply test new concepts. Otherwise, it could just be done online. This is why, brands who want a physical presence, will need to be savvy, whether by pricing or by innovation.

Let us use the office market as a quick case study. As a result of the internet, some could argue that companies do not require a physical workspace. Employees could work from home and meetings could take place through video calls. Yet nearly every single company has an office. Even digital brands. Why? Because of the value of social interaction, the enjoyment of physical presence, exploring new ideas, or making new contacts. The office market has evidently not disappeared, it has nonetheless experienced a significant shift. Look no further than the serviced office market. The industry needed change, and that is what the serviced office market provided. Whether it be by offering shared space, fitting out space, or providing flexible lease terms. This means that tenants can walk in a workplace and have it ready for occupation the next day. If traditional office providers are to compete with this they must offer something different themselves.

How is this relevant to the retail industry? It has one difference; the office market is predominantly Business to Business (B2B) whilst the retail market is Business to Consumer (B2C). So, as traditional office providers are having to adapt their offerings, so do traditional retailers. They will need to react to the rise of online retail. Currently, the shift is happening at a slower pace than that of the office market. Whether it be due to more resources and capital focused on the office market, or simply less innovation occurring in the retail industry. Maybe, as retail sees more innovation and successful concepts, investments will follow, leading to an increase in research and eventually more innovative ideas coming through.

And now let us discuss a niche brand helping revolutionise the retail industry, Gallery Society. Gallery Society is a London-based physical retail platform designed to discover, experience and engage with brands in real life. They bring multiple brands closer to customers, allowing shoppers to discover, try and learn about these brands first hand. For brands, this is an opportunity for them to test physical retail, test new products, acquire new customers, and collaborate with like-minded brands. Brands are provided with space where they can engage with their consumers in the physical world without the headache of traditional retail such as finding a space, merchandising and staffing.

Come along and experience the retail revolution with Gallery Society’s first pop up of the year in Shoreditch. The store is opening its doors on Thursday 28th of March.

Opening Hours: Thursday-Saturday: 10am — 7pm Sunday: 10am — 5pm

Address: 30 Redchurch Street E1 6JT London

W: T: +44 (0) 7944 696 151 E:

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