Following the oppression of isolation brought on by the pandemic, shopping-for-leisure in physical stores begins to replenish our essential need for real-time experiences and face-to-face interaction.

The joy of shopping in bricks-and-mortar stores retains its pre-covid social value, but the key to on-going success is the industry understanding that customer needs have changed irrevocably, and they need to continue to adapt to meet them.

female buyer pays with bank card in tea shop. Happy seller smiling, excellent service.
In this report, in partnership with Retail Focus, The rpa:group take an in-depth look at how forward-thinking retailers can differentiate their brands, enhance the customer experience and ultimately drive sales.

Highlights include:



PICKING A CAUSE – Beyond the noise of virtue signalling, people are looking for allies to emotionally support and align themselves with.

DOES SIZE MATTER? – Whatever the store size, it’s an opportunity to celebrate moments of engagement.

THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE – Aside from levels of human service, how can physical spaces continue to engage? Agility and adaptation are the key, with cues from pre-covid trends.

RESPECT – Alongside a personal re-evaluation of a work/life balance, potential customers have come to treasure their time and make careful choices about how they want to use it.

OLD HABITS – During the pandemic, our increased adaptation to online connectivity and developing technologies, combined with our self-discovery to perpetuate our ‘analogue nostalgia’.

SMOKE & MIRRORS – We as humans crave a manageable level of tension, and we power it through self-discovery and rekindling our sense of adventure.

FUTURE NORMAL – If brands can listen and innovate, customers will respond with open eyes and hearts.

Click on the preview below to read or download the full report.