In January of this year, Westfield’s ‘How We Shop’ report predicted that, by 2025, more than half of all retail space will be devoted to experience rather than product.

A separate study by Epson found that 75% of surveyed respondents would choose in-store shopping if retail outlets provided a more immersive experience.

In the space of just a few months, this ideal has been turned on its head. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, more and more consumers have turned to online shopping, with industry figures now suggesting that this behaviour might become a permanent habit. Now, as stores start to re-open after lockdown, retailers are finding ways to speed up the in-store experience, ideally making it as fast, efficient, and as safe as possible. The idea of getting shoppers to linger is simply not on the agenda right now.

But with experiential previously predicted to be the saviour of brick-and-mortar retail, what does this mean for the industry as a whole, as well as the brands that have already invested big in the strategy?

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