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The future of physical retail stores: the role of resin flooring in the evolving retail landscape 
The future of physical retail stores: the role of resin flooring in the evolving retail landscape

In today’s rapidly evolving retail landscape, physical stores face new challenges as the digital age continues to reshape consumer behaviours. However, amidst these changes, there is an exciting future ahead for physical retail stores.  

With the rise of e-commerce, it’s easy to assume that physical retail stores are on the decline. Yet, the reality is far more nuanced. Physical stores still hold significant value, providing unique opportunities for immersive experiences, personal interactions, and hands-on engagement with products.  

Interestingly, Bishop Fleming highlighted that in 2021, over 50% of retail purchases were still being made instore, and Savills reports that both shopping centres and high-street retail have seen a positive start to 2023 following £1.53bn shopping centre investment activity in 2022 and unit shop investment activity of £1.2bn in the same period, up from £1.1bn in 2021.

While the 2023 growth is expected to be modest, it certainly highlights that the appetite for in-person retail remains. Through a combination of experiential retail, adaptation to evolving behaviours, sustainability, collaboration and digital integration, physical retail stores can still have a bright future and resin flooring can contribute to creating remarkable retail spaces that captivate consumers, foster sustainability and drive success in the evolving retail landscape. 

Embracing experiential retail 

In the dynamic world of in-person retail, consumers are seeking more than just products – they crave memorable experiences that online shopping simply can’t create. This shift has given rise to the concept of experiential retail, which goes beyond traditional shopping by immersing customers in engaging and captivating environments. The interior design of a space, including the flooring, can play a pivotal role in creating these immersive experiences that leave a lasting impression on shoppers. 

Embracing experiential retail opens up exciting opportunities for resin flooring installers, architects, and specifiers. With resin flooring, a retail space can be transformed into a visually stunning and interactive destination. The versatility and customisable nature of resin flooring allows for a wide range of design options, enabling folks to create floors that truly reflect the brand identity and desired atmosphere of the retail environment. 

Whether it’s a vibrant pop-up shop, a flagship store, or a boutique space, resin flooring can be tailored to evoke specific emotions and capture the essence of the brand. With a vast array of colours, patterns and finishes, flooring solutions can be designed that seamlessly integrate with the overall aesthetic and theme of the retail space, elevating it to new heights. 

But experiential retail goes beyond visual appeal – it’s about engaging the senses and creating immersive journeys for customers. Blending a variety of textures and finishes can help to anchor certain areas and create a flow throughout a retail space. 

Adapting to changing consumer behaviours 

Consumer behaviours have undergone significant transformations in recent years. Today’s shoppers are seeking more than just products – they desire personalised experiences alongside convenience, not to mention the seamless integration between online and offline channels that is becoming more accessible to brands and shoppers alike. To meet these evolving expectations, retailers are beginning to think beyond traditional approaches and find innovative ways to engage and connect with their target audience. 

Flexibility and versatility are becoming critical in retail spaces owing to the growing expectation for personalised experiences, the ability to interact with products and services in unique ways and the increasing popularity of transformative spaces.  

Resin flooring can help to support these environments by delivering a high-performance solution underfoot that can withstand the heavy footfall and other daily abuses of a flexible retail space, as well as either creating a totally neutral, blank-canvas backdrop on the ground or leaning into the interior scheme with a range of colours or textures installed bespoke patterns to zone the space and draw attention to specific displays or experiential areas within the store. 

What’s more, consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of sustainability and eco-friendly practices, often seeking out retailers who share their values and prioritise sustainable materials and processes. Resin flooring can contribute to this movement by offering environmentally friendly options such as recycled materials and low VOC (volatile organic compounds) products. Not only this, but damaged polymer flooring can often be patch-repaired, and end-of-life resin coating systems can usually be overcoated to avoid the environmental impact associated with ripping out an entire floor and sending it to landfill. 

Looking forward to the future of physical retail

It’s clear that the future of physical retail stores is far from bleak. Despite the rise of e-commerce, physical stores continue to hold significant value, offering unique opportunities for immersive experiences and personal interactions. Resin flooring, as a key element of interior design, plays a pivotal role in creating the immersive experiences that consumers seek in experiential retail spaces.  

Looking to specify resin flooring for retail environments? Contact your local Vebro team to discuss your project requirements. 

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