Washington — The Hershey Co. recently participated in a study with Retail Dive, which explored the needs of retailers and the value of space for both retailers and consumers this week.
Examining the importance of redesigning and discovering new spaces in retail following the COVID-19 pandemic, the company found that 61.6 percent of retailers are planning to update their front-end space to provide a more convenient and efficient shopping experience.
Todd Scott, manager, communications for the company, tells Candy & Snack TODAY that space planning is an important frontier. “There are an enormous number of stores that need a front-end refreshement,” he says, noting that 37.8 percent of retailers plan to increase the number of paypoints in their stores within the next year.
He went on to say that 33 percent of respondents noted they plan to renovate 20 to 30 percent of their stores in the next five years.
Gina Peterson, senior manager of retail experience at Hershey, adds: “This is critical for many retailers in order to meet new expectations from consumers and continue to help drive bigger baskets. We can expect the trend toward more self-checkout and cashier-less paypoints to continue.”
In addition, 73.8 percent of retailers surveyed said that the front-end floor design in their stores play a role in customers’ unplanned purchases, and 47.6 percent are motivated to make front-end renovations and updates to help improve customer experience.
Additionally, more paypoints can solve other challenges for retailers. While nearly 30 percent of respondents said that the greatest challenge to their location is staffing shortages, and 31.1 percent of retailers stated they envision a cashier-less future in their stores within the next five years.
The majority of retailers surveyed also shared that online shopping will make up more of their sales moving forward. While 15.9 percent predict more than half of their sales will derive from ecommerce in 2022, that percentage jumps to 26.8 percent for those who expect ecommerce to yield more than half of their total sales by 2027. However, unplanned and “treat myself moments” in stores continue to remain driving forces for consumers.
“The trend of digital commerce sales continues to accelerate, but we know that consumers are mostly purchasing their products in stores,” says Peterson. “Unplanned buys and occasions are still important for consumers, which is why we are dedicated to helping our retail partners grow in new and innovative ways in their locations.”