Beyond the Build

Continuing Education

Creating an Authentic Experience

Last week we were in Las Vegas to attend ICSC RECon, which I have always considered a family reunion of retail. It’s a chance to visit with longtime friends and make a few new ones each year. It seemed to me that this year’s conference had a definite emphasis on the “customer experience.” Stores are shifting towards being a bit more customized, and where appropriate, adapting their format to fit smaller urban locations.

It would seem that

  • Designers are driving innovation in the retail and restaurant space even more than in the past.
  • Technology is taking a larger piece of the experience pie.
  • Authenticity is paramount.
  • Trends have roots at the neighborhood level before making it to chains.

Surroundings, and every part of the experience, matters for a better ROI.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.