By gaining a true understanding of key demographics and their implications, retailers can create more engaging and holistic shopping experiences
BENTONVILLE, Ark., Jan. 24, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Design best practices from the hospitality sector can help retailers drive traffic, extend dwell times and keep customers coming back for more, said veteran architects and designers from HFA Architecture + Engineering.
Bringing more than eight decades of experience to a recent webinar, the veteran hospitality and retail architects and designers stressed the importance of crafting experiences that appeal to core customer segments and demographic groups.
“Most stores are now recognizing that different shoppers have different needs. For instance, some stores are reducing noise and bright lighting at certain hours of the day to better cater to shoppers who are highly sensitive to visual and auditory stimuli,” explained HFA Vice President Bo Ebbrecht (AIA, NCARB). “Retailers need to be thinking about how the retail experience intersects with the specific demographic mix at every store.”
Ebbrecht’s comments came during “Constructive Conversations: Sticky Behaviors + Enduring Design Principles,” an online event featuring his colleagues Civil + Landscaping Lead Garrett Small (P.E.), Vice President James Owens (AIA, NCARB) and Vice President Nicole Poole (AIA, NCARB, LEED AP).
The panelists discussed how consumer demands for faster, more efficient retail offerings remain the norm. This longstanding trend, they said, is made more complex by the sheer number of different generational groups that retailers must cater to without forsaking one for another.
Throughout the discussion, the panelists called upon their past experiences working with national and regional retailers and restaurant chains on a wide array of trends and technological opportunities.
Topics discussed during the webinar included:
- How hospitality practices can enhance the retail experience and design
- What key architectural, engineering and design principles to consider when infusing hospitality into retail spaces
- How to decode “sticky” consumer behaviors and determine the role customer insights play in creating these spaces
The craving for authentic experiences is reshaping, not only retail stores, but also commercial real estate, Owens noted. “We’re seeing a rise in the lifestyle center, which is essentially a mixed-used facility that incorporates retail, housing, and entertainment,” he said. “Communities don’t just want to see endless acres of retail-only sites. This diversification of the tenant mix creates these peaks and valleys of activity throughout the day.”
While retailers have made strides in crafting better experiences, many could drive higher traffic, sales and loyalty by making their stores even easier and more fun to shop, the panelists said.
“Retail hasn’t changed, but one thing that has changed is how technology plays a part in it,” Poole noted. “So, how do we use technology to get people back into the store? In many instances, like trying on clothes or shoes or testing a baseball bat, you need the in-person experience you can’t get online.”
To watch the recorded webinar, please click the following link: Constructive Conversations: Sticky Behaviors + Enduring Design Principles.
About HFA: HFA is a nationwide architecture and engineering firm with offices in Bentonville, AR, Fort Worth, TX, Franklin, MA, and Mexico City. With over 30 years of experience, HFA has become a trusted partner for a diverse range of clients, providing comprehensive services that combine design innovation and project delivery excellence. The studio’s portfolio includes commercial projects in retail, industrial, mixed-use/office, restaurants, hospitality and entertainment spaces. To learn more about HFA and their work, visit their website at https://www.hfa-ae.com/
Media Contacts: At Jaffe Communications, Elisa Krantz, (908) 789-0700,
SOURCE HFA Architecture + Engineering