The New Role of Retail

Global retail design agency Sheridan&Co examines the pivot that retail is undergoing, considering success stories and failures thus far. Plus, they elaborate on the unparalleled power of physical spaces, customer experience and community.

Back in May, The Economist wrote ‘ Farewell BC. Welcome AD’. Although the play on words for the Anno Domini reference here means ‘before coronavirus’ and ‘after domestication’, its pertinence is apt as we have arrived at a profound turning point in mankind’s history. 2020 will be a defining marker in the 21st century. It has witnessed many paradigm-shifting and world-changing developments across all market sectors. Life will never be the same again. One synonym for this change has included our ‘new normal’ and no industry has been left untouched. This includes retail design and customer experience.

The exceptional circumstances and the transformation we have experienced throughout 2020 have made it impossible to ignore how the retail industry will evolve and change to suit the new ways society is living, working, socialising and consuming. At Sheridan&Co, we believe that ‘'we have arrived at a tipping point of a period of transformation, shedding the skins of our pre-crisis lives to create a new way for society and the economy to exist”. This will fundamentally change how we design customer experience in store’s.

As retail specialists, we have been studying changes in the market, consumer behaviour and consumption patterns. We have conducted research as well as taken insights from conversations with clients and connections within our network to understand how retail design can navigate challenges caused by COVID19 and how to pivot in order to thrive in our new world.

Our learnings and insights have been interesting, thought-provoking and invited us to be even more curious and deep dive further into our research with new questions as to how retail will evolve and adapt to our new world. But most importantly, how brands can navigate and prepare this future too and what it will mean for the future of customer experience.

To summarise our findings, we have created a report: The New Role of Retail (download it here). 

  • Analysed success stories and failures
  • Why the power of physical spaces will continue to shape retail’s legacy
  • How to make the most of a store experience
  • The new relationship between digital and retail design
  • How the future of work will impact retail design
  • Lessons from luxury retail and how this can shape consumer experience in store
  • The importance of empathy and investing in customer experience
  • The heightened importance of locality and the relationship towards community
  • Why you should prioritise your long term strategy over your short term survival
  • How to head towards life in 2025


At Home With Keewana Grant

On ‘At Home With,’ we virtually visit our members and catch up on their current normal. From recommended reading and podcasts to creative recipes and wellness routines, get to know the network - and maybe even come away with a little activity inspo.

Meet Keewana Grant, director of beauty and wellbeing at Purple PR. From her title alone, you can guess that we were excited to peek into her beauty cabinet - and even more so to hear what her go-to goods are. She shares her latest product discoveries, plus advice for those looking to up their beauty routines. 

What are your go-to beauty products at the moment?

My forever go-to beauty product is my NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Chocolate. It's amazingly precise and really gives a natural look! More recently, I have been obsessed with Retrouvé’s Dermal Defense Hand Cream! This is by far the best hand cream that I’ve ever used. It’s not greasy and makes my very dry hands feel extra soft - I keep it right by my desk. 

How has your beauty routine changed as a result of the pandemic, and have you come across any new brand/product discoveries since the start?

My routine before the pandemic was very simple. Brow fill, Mascara, blush, gloss, and a little concealer. Surprisingly enough, being home for the past couple of months has made me actually want to experiment more with makeup! Lately, I’ve been loving everything from new, clean makeup brand ROEN, especially the 75° WARM EYE SHADOW PALETTE. I get to experiment but also not get too crazy!

If you could only use two beauty products in the morning, what would they be?

Brow pencil and a Moisturizing SPF!

What’s the best perk of your job as beauty director?

Years ago, I would’ve said “free beauty products!” LOL, but now, I cannot take another thing home because my apartment is a mini Sephora! However, my best perk is really getting to work with an amazing team. Truly makes me happy to come to work working in an environment filled with love, support, and friendship. That’s GOLDEN!

Are there any shifts in the beauty industry that you think will continue beyond the pandemic?

Virtual desksides! They are so much easier to coordinate and I think all publicists can agree that we didn’t like schlepping around products for hours.

What’s your #1 tip for someone looking to up their beauty routines?

Slowly transition new products into your existing routine so that you can figure out what’s actually working and what isn’t a fit!

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