November 2017 //

Retail Without Rules

By MJ Munsell


Brands can buck the system of the last 30 years and return to what good retail used to be: convenient location, personalized service, curated assortment and a community hub. And today, with the addition of data, technology and a global consumer base, the possibilities are endless.


Every day in my role as MG2’s Retail studio lead, I have conversations with retailers about their next moves in business and store design. In reading the myriad of statistics available on any given day referencing American’s shopping patterns, it is clear the customer abides by no rules. They choose how, when and where they shop so why are retailers building businesses based on rules that are 30 years old?

When working with clients, I often pose the question, “What would you do if there were no rules for your next store?” Here are a few of my thoughts on the matter…the anti-rules of retail, if you will!

The Store is a Shifting Personal Marketplace

It adjusts to the latest shopping patterns set by you, your closest friends and your recent browsing history. The store merchandise “magically” aligns with your late night, can’t sleep digital shopping carts. Your anti-store is everything you imagine, and what you haven’t been able to find. It is filled with the most current fashion, beauty and lifestyle items, seemingly curated just for you. The more you shop in this personal marketplace, the more personalized, seamless and exciting it becomes. And, best of all, there are no credit cards, no waiting and no pressure.

The Store is Your Personal Assistant

Your new favorite destination should be your own personal stylist hub or concierge service. A destination where your stylist orders items for you based on your online and in-store browsing history and current wish list and then ships the items to a hip, cool, beautiful location. You come in when you can, take a spin in the dressing room, receive personalized expert styling advice and tailoring. And best of all, you walk away in less than an hour, with your items on the way to you the next day. No mailing, opening, sending or recycling boxes.

The Store has no Address

What if the store had no walls, no address and came to you? It is a mobile event featuring new brands and products nearly at your door just down the street at the show on Friday night or your Sunday afternoon market. You could align your shopping destination with your needs, timing and plans for the day. Each time your store comes to you and each time there are surprises. Never the same, always an exploration.

The Store Brings the World to You

Showcasing the best and brightest from your preferred bloggers, available to buy with a nod of your head and a wink on your iphone X. It’s all curated: designers, merchandise and events for you. No plane tickets, travel time or guilt.

The Store has a Reduced Carbon Footprint and is a Neighborhood Multi-Purpose Hub

There are no packing boxes, air shipping or offshore factories. This store sells local, made-in-the-area products. It showcases the best of your region with upcycled items that set the industry standard for local and sustainable. It is a multi-purpose space, enabling you to consolidate shopping trips, reducing your time and energy expenditures. It provides a venue for local brands to experiment, meet customers and share their vision and passion. It provides a venue for the community to gather so individuals can socialize and learn.

This can and should be the future of retail. Brands can buck the system of the last 30 years and return to what good retail used to be: convenient location, personalized service, curated assortment and a community hub. And today, with the addition of data, technology and a global consumer base, the possibilities are endless.

Retail without rules; retail as it should be.


Did you enjoy this article?