Best practices for shifting to an experience per-square-foot strategy

Colliers International’s latest Retail Spotlight Report examines the modern consumer’s habits, viewpoints and decisions that are helping to drive the evolution of the retail sector.

In this report, we have again collaborated with GlobalData, to explore the next chapter for U.S. retail, providing insight into how physical stores can continue to thrive despite the popularity of online shopping and offering an in-depth look at the modern consumer’s shifting mindset and behaviors.


  • As consumers’ product needs have become satiated, a larger proportion of spending has been diverted to non-traditional retail categories, many of which have an experiential element. These include areas like dining and drinking out, subscription services and travel. In 2006, some 76.3% of spending by those under age 25 was channeled to traditional retailers. In 2016, that figure dropped to 61.2%.
  • While contemplative consumers are becoming more selective in what they buy, they are using more retailers and brands than ever before. This is especially true in sectors like apparel, homewares, beauty and food — where well over half of consumers are relying on more retailers than they did five years ago.
  • In addition to relying on more retailers and brands, consumers are also using a greater number of platforms to seek out product inspiration, browse for products and assess product details, pricing and stock levels. When it comes to non-food shopping, the average consumer now regularly uses more than five channels or tools, such as physical stores, social media sites, websites, magazines and catalogs. By comparison, this number was just under four in 2011.