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StorePoint Retail: A Fun, Informative Discussion of “What’s Next?” for Brick & Mortar Stores

By Michael Larkin
  • Retail
  • StorePoint Retail: A Fun, Informative Discussion of “What’s Next?” for Brick & Mortar Stores

The Miller Zell team that attended StorePoint Retail in ChampionsGate, Fla, on Aug. 21-24 arrived at a shared conclusion afterwards.

Simply, it was great to meet and chat with industry leaders and thinkers in such a fantastic setting. The event seemed to hint at a resolute pushing toward a post-pandemic normal, and everyone there seemed to appreciate being face to face, sharing ideas about ever-evolving branded environments.

There were newcomers, new brands with new approaches and new pain points. It was great to hear their stories in panel discussions and one-on-one meetings, just as it was enjoyable to meet with Miller Zell’s longtime, trusted retail partners.

Miller Zell’s process is always to listen first and then to provide strategic, customized and innovative retail solutions that create great customer experiences. We are proud of our end-to-end process that solves problems for our clients, and it was well presented by our Chief Creative Officer, Tom Ertler, in his small-group presentations, as well as his participation in a panel discussion, “Retail Partnership Marketing Trends Driving the Brick and Mortar Experience.”

“It was fun to discuss our concept-to-completion process and how it efficiently intertwines with the evolution of the brick-and-mortar experiences,” Ertler said. “It was particularly gratifying to share some of our recent projects that focused on elevating the omnichannel shopping experience, serving customers whatever path they choose.”

Ertler was joined in the panel discussion by moderator, Lindsay Henningfeld, founder of Lindsay Henningfeld, Creative Interiors; Cynthia Hirsch, International President, Retail Design Institute; and Adimika Owens, Senior Director, Visual Merchandising & NSVM Design Floor & Decor.

It was a timely dialogue because it touched on many of the common issues and challenges retailers, QSRs and other businesses with branded environments share.

These issues included:

  • How do you elevate your store experience to meet today’s demanding, omnichannel customers?
  • How do you authentically embrace DEI initiatives and provide thoughtful representation that touches all people?
  • How do you do more with less, including fewer associates, while still dealing with supply chain issues?
  • What’s the best approach for retail investing in smaller-footprint stores?

The panel cited examples of retailers partnering to create in-store shops, to working with direct-to-consumer brands, as well as minority and established brands cohabitating to increase access and awareness.

It was fun, informative and, well, reassuring.

Our team left with a firm belief that our approach creates value by meeting the demands of today’s rapidly evolving retail environments, no matter the challenges brands face amid inflation, economic uncertainty, supply chain issues and demanding customers.

As Ertler said during the panel discussion, “Partnership means we all have to win.”

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Michael has over 25 years of marketing, operations, and management consulting experience with some of the most recognized North American Retail and Global CPG companies. Much of Michael’s career has been focused on improved customer experience and execution, whether through improved communications, processes, technologies or environments. Michael’s partners have included organizations large and small, including Hershey, Heineken, COTY, KIND, ULTA, Gordon Foods, and Focus Brands. Michael has a BA in Art History from the University of Dayton and an MBA with focuses in Accounting and Operations Management from Loyola University Chicago.