Study: Traditional Retail Categories Are Blurring

As covered by over one hundred news outlets, including Chain Store AgeConvenience Store NewsForbesMorning News BeatMSN MoneyRetail Leader, and SEGD – The results of a Fall 2013 survey of over 1200 U.S. Millennial, Generation X, and Baby Boomer consumers, conducted by retail design firm King Retail Solutions (“KRS”), emphasize the changing face of the retail industry and shoppers’ evolving attitudes towards where they will shop for groceries, fresh meals, apparel, and services ranging from haircuts to medical treatment.

Equal parts male/female, and located in urban, suburban, and rural areas across the United Stated, shoppers were polled on their past shopping habits, their current shopping attitudes, their decision making factors, and their top preferred retailers (Target, Walmart, Walgreens, and Costco topped the list in each category), all as relates to purchasing these types of goods from a non-traditional source (e.g., purchasing a fresh meal from a pharmacy or a hair cut from a big box store).

The study also analyzes demographic variances in habit and attitude (age, sex, family status, locale all affect decision making) and suggests that category blurring will continue to thrive, making the embrace of new sales channels both an opportunity for retailers and a source of new competition as retailers expand to compete outside of traditional channels (ex. grocery stores competing with quick service restaurants).

KRS is scheduled to present results from this study and speak on a panel discussing the topic of blurring retail channels and how this evolution is affecting experience design at the Society for Experiential Graphic Design (“SEGD“) Exhibition and Experience Design Workshop event held in Washington, DC this August.

On the survey results, KRS executive vice president, Andrew Swedenborg, who will be speaking at the SEGD event, commented, “It can’t all be about one-stop-shop, but if it’s a retailer they appreciate, they are going to shop there and if new, non-traditional items are available for sale, they are going to buy those items. Expanding what you sell is only a part of the equation; delivering a valuable shopping experience is the real challenge.”

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