Smaller stores may need to borrow from the minds of Prada and Whole Foods in order to succeed.

Technology has accelerated the scope and reach of retail innovation, making it an increasingly bespoke, tailored, and customer-centric experience. But why is this approach not better reflected — or integrated into — the real retail environment? It’s possible to design a new space, or a new experience — not just signpost another room. Luxury and high-end have already embraced this mindset, so it’s time for our supermarkets and retailers to realize the opportunity for themselves.

Wegmans has long been a leader with a series of firsts learnt from around the globe: taking us from in-store boulangeries to in-store sushi bars. Whole Foods created the experience of a marketplace, while Target is still the only retailer to consistently use collaborations with renowned experts, sharing kudos and giving niche brands a route to market — both of which reinforce and reignite the Target brand, as well. Private label has come a long way in recent years, but it’s still disappointing that household name retailers are slow to innovate.

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