10A — January 12 - 25, 2018 — 2018 Forecast — M id A tlantic

Real Estate Journal


2018 F orecast

espite concerns about the “death of retail,” the number of retail By John D. Meadows, RA, Bernardon How to build a shopper’s paradise: Retail design trends for 2018 and beyond D façade designs have helped to emulate and enhance the streetscape experience.

models, for example, in adapt- ing existing buildings to add drive-through windows and customized signage designs. As more retail develop- ers attempt to compete with so-called “destination” or “lifestyle” centers, architects have been endeavoring to create more fun shopping ex- periences - even in traditional strip-mall settings. Restau- rant tenants are demanding outdoor dining space or store- fronts that open to simulate the outdoor dining experience. Other features such as attrac- tive hardscaping and varied

and fountains are essential, as are public transportation stops and providing a variety of dining options. Centraliz- ing restaurants and eateries will create next-generation food courts, and we can expect to see more dining venues within retail establishments and pop-up cafes. Convenience and tech- nology – Convenience is the premium target, and technol- ogy such as drone landing zones, Amazon lockers, and Uber and Lyft parking spots may appear within cutting edge developments to meet the challenge. Continually improving customer data can help retailers make person- alized recommendations for shoppers, such as in “smart” dressing rooms, which employ technology to suggest comple- mentary items or to help find alternate sizes. Additionally, as technology becomes more integrated into our daily lives, we’ll see more connections be- tween digital and brick-and- mortar shopping experiences. Making better use of space – In the future, we can expect to see retailers collaborate and share space more effectively, whether on a smaller scale, such as Topshop or J. Crew pop-up shops, or on a larger scale, with multiple retailers shar- ing the same warehousing and loading space. Market- places with a variety of small online or local retailers may make an appearance in tradi- tional shopping centers. Also, with the boundaries between work, home, and play blur- ring, future retail design will more purposefully incorporate residential, transportation, workplace, and healthcare spaces. With the retailing land- scape changing so rapidly, retail designers need to be proactive in incorporating cre- ative features that will lure tenants and consumers. In 2018, the savvy retailer that supplies a more customized, meaningful, and convenient retail experience is sure to thrive. John D. Meadows is a registered architect with over 20 years of experi- ence in commercial and retail design. He is a proj- ect manager at Bernardon, a regional architecture, interior design, and land- scape architecture firm. n

appreciation for the recent and up-and-coming trends in the retail real estate market can help developers and owners get ahead of the competition to reposition existing shopping centers and build exciting new retail developments. The last few years have seen greater differentiation in storefront design, with façade colors, signage, and awning colors that help to reinforce the national identity of high-profile tenants. We have also seen more accom- modations to keep up with tenants’ evolving business

s t o r e s has increased by 180% o v e r the last 40 years while our country’s popu l a t i on has only in- creased by 40%. Well-

As we move into 2018, these trends will surely continue, but we can also expect to see groundbreaking new ideas permeate the retail market. Elevating the customer experience – Ferris wheels, carousels, and sculpture gar- dens may sound extravagant, but future retail centers will need to incorporate entertain- ment-focused architectural features that delight and engage consumers. Outdoor public spaces with sculptures

John Meadows

located, amenity-rich retail centers are doing better than ever. While demand for tradi- tional, big box retail space may slow in the coming years, an


Philadelphia, PA West Chester, PA Wilmington, DE www.bernardon.com

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