Retail of Tomorrow
From, shop to the arcade to the department store and retail emporium, there has been a constant evolution of stories.
Simultaneously from subscription boxes to the rise of quality packaging and the conscious consumer, the shopping culture has been changing.
What remains constant though is the physical transaction taking place between consumer and seller. As they take part in exchanges but in the different typology of spaces.
But in the world of e-commerce and now COVID-19, where physical gathering can lead to fatal consequences - the traditional form of trade is under threat.
The pandemic has shown that the traditional form of trade cannot answer the problems that are likely to spread through physical touch. Throughout the process of retail shopping, a consumer has to touch different surfaces, objects, and talk to different people. All of them being possible carriers. The uncertainty, lack of spatial flexibility in retail experience has led to a decrease in footfalls.
The presence of the e-market further disrupts the space. With around 44% of the urban population choosing to avail of online services even after the restrictions come down.
The ongoing pandemic, in its fragility, has shown us how dispensable traditional spaces can be. Even though consumer satisfaction remains a priority, there is a constant need for its architecture to evolve. The design system must be open for further upgrades and improvements.
Retail Stores, for a long, have formed a significant part in shaping public spaces as well as defining a particular neighborhood and its people. As soon as we entered the realm of the digital age, the popularity of online shopping services shifted the transactions from physical retail stores to online. Now with the pandemic, the architecture of shops has further raised questions.
The brief is to design a retail store that redefines the traditional market prototype in today’s changing times. The architectural concept for a shop that brings back the lost ritual of buying, that improves upon the deficiencies present in the trade process, recovers the lost human senses of a buyer, provides the possibility to sense all properties of the good, and cohesively includes such possible solutions.