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  • Writer's pictureHolly Rickard

Collaborative retail – does it work & who should consider it?

Updated: May 10, 2022

If you have a physical store, or are looking to get in to one, co-sharing retail space might be the answer to up your exposure.

Sharing Retail Space
Sharing Retail Space

Couple Up

If you are an existing bricks and mortar business, looking to bring in extra customers; Have you considered inviting a complimentary brand in to your store that sells a unique product, only traditionally available overseas or online? Even offer a click and collect service for the complimentary brand if you’re not ready to mix up the product offering on-shelf.

Conversely, are you an online only business, wanting to try out how onmi-channel would increase your sales? Test the market by pairing up with a complimentary brand who has many physical store locations. Try an in-store pop up, or custom fixture in a few stores to see which locations get you the best traction. 

Is cloud based software your thing? Maybe you want to couple up with or develop a business lounge where people can trial your software for free. Let’s step it up a notch, think co-working space, where your product mingles with your integration partners, sponsors, and physical product partners. Offering onsite training and tutorials for your software, and integrated software. The possibilities are limitless. You’re now a one stop shop for the small business startup.


Experienced based shopping

As the shopping journey is becoming more experience focused, the need for better curated product, and more thoughtful displays will be in demand. Likewise the entire buying experience, both online and off, from the staff, to the checkout process, the store design, and particularly immersive in store experiences will be a huge focus. This could be what sets you apart from the crowd, and makes your brand memorable, talked about.

Would you like coffee with that?

Have you noticed retail spaces and working spaces are becoming more like coffee shops? “Adding coffee to the mix” is now a well developed trend because it allows people to spend more time in a less formal environment doing the same activity. It eliminates time pressures – you can hang around for as long as you like, come back as often as you want.

The emerging trend born from this will be to combine these spaces. Mobility in the workforce is growing, and people need more access to spaces with wifi and workstations. Furniture suppliers know they can serve this demographic, and drive more exposure to their products by giving the public access to their showrooms. Label them as co-working spaces, and it builds a brand reputation that is focused on innovation, collaboration and community.

Examples of proven collaborative spaces:

  • Art galleries that hold private events, and community classes.

  • Sports stores with gaming and community spaces.

  • Fashion stores with brand launch areas, video booths, catwalks, and personal shopper areas. Let’s give the haulers a place to do their thing.

  • Kitchen showrooms that hold cooking classes, with guest chef appearances.

  • Furniture showrooms doubling as co-working spaces with cafes

  • Yoga studio with an active wear clothing store

  • Gym and juice bar. Em, hold up Snoop Dog that’s gym, not gin.

  • Home wares and florists.

  • Wine paired with fromagerie/deli. Yum. 

Do you see an emerging trend here? It goes beyond how to increase exposure, and focuses on how businesses are more efficiently serving customer needs.


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