The future of <b>retail</b> is smart stores | RetailTechPodcast

The future of retail is smart stores

Shopping malls in the UAE are here to stay the future of retail in the region lies in smart stores that offer carefully curated and memorable experiences for shoppers, experts have noted. Speaking at a media roundtable on Wednesday, Mark Johnson, COO of Retailademy, said that there is a wealth of technology available today for retailers in the region to personalise the experiences of shoppers. "Retail stores are not very different right now, compared to what they looked like a decade ago," he noted. "There are still limitations due to the fact that many retail concepts over here in the UAE work on a partnership basis; the constraints of the franchise model has slowed the pace compared to what we see happening in the industry internationally. Today, we are in the very first chapter of the digital revolution." Zaid Alqufaidi, managing director of Enoc Retail, also noted that customer behaviours have started to change, and with them, the way that retailers are operating. "The future of the industry is smart stores, and if you don't innovate, then you will evaporate." Patrick Falman, GM of Umdasch Shopfitting, also spoke about how retail has changed, noting that customers were placing a lot of emphasis on experiences. "A lot of retailers are looking at ways to seamlessly bring offline and online experiences together," he revealed. Falman also added that there is currently a lot of pressure on the retail industry in the UAE. Rents for retail spaces have to come down to allow smaller enterprises a chance to have a presence in major shopping centres. Read more