Lewis Retail Centers continues to believe in the need for brick and mortar retailing, but the investor also knows that change is coming to the market. The future of physical retail depends on bridging the gap between e-commerce and retail. This includes partnerships with e-commerce providers and the use of digital marketing tools.
“We are very focused on bridging the gap between physical retail and e-commerce. We no longer believe in "build it and they will come". We have implemented a solid digital marketing plan for most of our malls that may not have warranted such a program over the past several years. Randall W. Lewis, EVP of Marketing for Lewis Retail Centerstells GlobeSt.com. "Each of our shopping centers now has digital assets that make it easier for the community to find our tenants, connect with them and shop with them."
As the company adapts to the new world, it also recognizes that retail will continue to be a seasoned asset, and post-pandemic experience will continue to play a role. “We recognize that the retail experience is something that customers cannot get online, so now, as we navigate e-commerce and the pandemic, it is particularly important to keep our centers attractive and invite places to be the community can gather, ”he tells Lewis. “That was the philosophy behind our recent renovation of the Regency Park Plaza in Vacaville, California. By improving the lighting, repainting the exterior and adding elements for a more modern look, we've been able to refresh and keep the public's experience at this center updated. "
Overall, retail continues to have an important place in the commercial market, but it has to re-adapt and adapt to new consumer needs. That's probably the real retail theme: adaptability. “The future of retail despite all the challenges it faces today is very exciting,” says Lewis. "This is a sector that has had to reinvent itself many times and has done so successfully in the face of terrible predictions that never materialized."
Developers and investors who are willing to understand these new needs and changing consumer habits, and who can stay agile; will succeed in retail. “Retail developers and investors who take the time to research and respond to relevant consumer buying and demographic data, developing the right tenant mix to support both tenants and customers in keeping their centers attractive and vibrant and with the Community working together to deliver services to critical communities will lead the industry going forward, ”said Lewis.