PSFK’s Future of Retail Report 2015 looks at how physical retailers are using stores as hubs for community engagement.

What makes a store experience great – Is it the array of products? Customer service?  Likely it is more than just one thing, but rather a combination of factors and emotions that lead customers to connect with the store. What this means is that retailers need to offer more than just a place to buy goods, but rather a space to transact in culture, experiences and relationships. To succeed in this, they will need to learn how to ‘Be The Hub'.

From the retailer's perspective, the store is more than just a place to sell products, it’s the physical embodiment of a set of ideas and relationships. When customers choose to shop at a particular store, they’re also buying into those same attitudes and beliefs, and carrying them outside of the store. Brands can leverage this to assert cultural significance through initiatives that connect with their community around the things that are most important to them and give them more reason to visit. Brands already have a core set of values; now how does one bring that story to life in-store and share with the larger community?

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