Last year was certainly a difficult year for retail and the commercial real estate sector in general. The major economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic shook retail to its core, led to major changes in buyer behavior and put on hold many planned commercial real estate development projects.
What’s in store for 2021? Here are some predictions for the year from retail experts that we find interesting. Perhaps you will, too.
Increased Role of Technology in Retail
In an article on the Forbes website, futurist and technology and business advisor Bernard Marr, sees a number of retail trends that, if true, will have profound effects on how we shop.
In his article The 5 Biggest Retail Trends in 2021, Marr predicts one of the biggest trends this year will be the convergence of technology in the retail sector. These technologies, including the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence and extended reality, will enable retail to make shopping more convenient and interactive.
In the article, Marr states, “While the general trend has seen offline retailers moving into online by establishing e-commerce divisions of their businesses, more lately, we have seen online retailers developing a bricks ‘n’ mortar presence. At their most sophisticated, this trend includes initiatives such as Amazon’s famous cashier-less stores opening in the US, as well as Walmart’s experiments with allowing customers to order and pay in-store and have goods delivered to their homes.”
Building a Technology Infrastructure
At Miller’s Landing in Castle Rock, CO, we anticipated the growing importance of technology in the business environment when we first started work on this new multi-use commercial and residential real estate development. We’re creating a vibrant town center that features a technology network intentionally designed to support Miller’s Landing.
We’re using our proprietary SmartTown design method to design and create a new technology infrastructure for Miller’s Landing based on large-scale smart city technology. SmartTown is a design philosophy and method that focuses on user needs to scale smart city technology to smaller mixed-use developments.
Unlike other approaches that focus on technology first, then attempt to tailor it to the needs of users, SmartTown employs a people-centered approach. This approach ensures that a design meets user needs before selecting technology.
Our SmartTown infrastructure will offer businesses at Miller’s Landing, including retailers, a true competitive advantage and positions them to take advantage of these changes in the retail environment. It also places Miller’s Landing at the forefront of the retail commercial real estate sector in the Denver metro area.
Neighborhood Shopping Districts Offer Hope
In the article 9 Retail Trends to Watch on RetailDive, author Daphne Howland also predicts that the pandemic will have a lasting effect on brick-and-mortar stores, with an interesting twist. While the pandemic resulted in many stores closing and leaving a slew of empty storefronts at shopping malls, strip centers fared better than enclosed malls.
She states, “Analysts also see some hope for neighborhood shopping districts as people continue to work from home and frequent their local shops.”
A Vibrant, Retail-Friendly Town Center
Creating a vibrant town center complete with shopping, dining and entertainment options is at the core of our vision at Miller’s Landing. The town center will feature a pedestrian-oriented main street that captures the essence on an historical downtown and will be a true neighborhood shopping district. It’s a blend of classic and modern with an authentic “feel of place.”
The wide sidewalks and space for outdoor dining and shopping at Miller’s Landing will attract workers and visitors alike for entertainment and exploration.
While we can’t predict all of the twists and turns retail may take in the coming months, at Miller’s Landing we’re uniquely positioned in the commercial real estate sector to offer retailers and other businesses the amenities, including a robust technological infrastructure, that will play a crucial role in their success in the future.
About Miller’s Landing, a New Multi-Use Development
Miller’s Landing is developing an exciting town center complete with shopping, dining and entertainment options. The town center will be supported by modern office spaces, a resort hotel and spa, and conference and meeting facilities.
Unlike other mixed-use developments, Miller’s Landing also includes large swaths of open space with magnificent views of the Colorado Front Range. It’s a far cry from the congested concrete canyons of downtown or the bland office parks of yesterday.
About Castle Rock, Colorado
Castle Rock is located on the I-25 corridor in the south Denver metro area. The growing community is known for its small-town charm and easy access to Denver to the north and Colorado Springs to the south.
It’s a popular hometown for well-educated professionals. While many of the town’s residents commute to Denver for work, studies show a majority would prefer to work in town, giving any businesses that locate to Miller’s Landing a well-educated talent pool for recruiting.
Creating the Future Together
From hospitality to retail, community gatherings to individual adventures, Miller’s Landing is an exciting place to build the future. Join us!