A Pedestrian Street in Transition?

scenarios / retail / analysis

Brief analysis of the challenges meeting future retail in suburban towncentres (Case: Birkerød pedestrian street North of Copenhagen).


Smaller households

Aging Population


Source: Danmarks Statistik

Town Centres in the Balance

February 2013. Sources: ICP, online.dk, lokalbasen.dk

Previously the computer stayed at home, when the customer went shopping. With mobile phones and tablets, the customer is now online while shopping. Online and offline merge into inline. She examines a product virtually while at the same time handling it physically.

The customer sees herself as unique, deserving her own unique lifestyle, whether she thinks of home decoration, convenient shopping times, or using apps to gather information about her specific interests.

Cities, brands, retail shops, cafees, electronics, everything and everybody will soon be connected to the internet with the sole purpose of promoting individual consumer comfort.

The consumers expect an instant inline connection and ”click and collect” retail structure working in accordance. This means collecting services, where the customers pick up their articles after online purchase in an offline service centre.

While the inline world appears to have endless possibilities, the physical world seems to be more finite!

Resource scarcity, pressure on costs and new economic structures guide the way consumers regard shopping areas and products. Retail will see a revival of cooperative schemes and – in pace with one-time usage becoming undesirable – an increase in repairing, swapping and recycling.

We will see an increase in specialised secondhand and charity shops, food cooperatives, employee or consumer owned businesses, delivering high quality groceries to their members in exchange for labour. Across all segments (food, non-food), the consumers are increasingly price-sensitive and seek the best offer. Access to services will be more important than ownership, when a collaborative lifestyle replaces hyperconsumerism. For instance, people will pay for mobility but not own a car anymore.

Demographic changes such as age distribution, household size, and migration from country to city presents new challenges and opportunities for the retail business.

An aging population will create a greater demand for health services. But the seniors will not behave like ”old people”. They are more mobile and continue to live without an ”I need care” stigma. They are still sporty and enjoy trendy products like iPads, ultrabooks, high-tech bikes, espresso machines and spa baths. But they need physical services adjusted to changing needs,  slow-paced systems, large price tags and stylish ergonomics. 

There will be considerably more singles over the age of 65. And young people will remain single for longer time. This will affect the overall product portfolio, with smaller sizes (furnitures for small rooms, meal sizes, shampoo bottles etc.).

New infrastructures will connect people to products and existing retail shop will offer new services in supplement to their products. Products and services offered will include lifestyle elements.