retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Nice piece in Fast Company about Boston's revitalized Seaport District:

"In many ways, the Seaport represents the retail space of the future. And the strange thing about it is that it feels a lot like the kind of Main Street we see in pictures from the past, before suburban malls and shopping centers sprung up in the late 1950s and became the dominant shopping experience for half a century. Instead of setting up shop in malls, brands are increasingly entering cool neighborhoods and renting storefronts next to the places where people work, eat, and seek out entertainment. Retail in 'town center'-type locations is strong; according to Public Square, occupancy rates in those areas average around 95%."

The story goes on: "In some ways, the many brands that sprinkle the Seaport District are not really the point. Sure, there are shopfronts everywhere you turn, but they’re part of a broader landscape of things to do and see. And the result is that shopping feels a lot more like a communal activity you might do after a meal with friends or a visit to a museum."

Inventory, the story suggests, "thanks to the ease of online shopping, is almost beside the point. Buying new products just isn’t the most compelling reason for people to get off their couches and head to the store. What will draw them in is the lure of community." (Though actually having product is a quality that should not be underestimated.)

You can - and should - read the story here.
KC's View: