Recently, one forward thinking Pennsylvania grocery retailer opened a new Ecommerce hub facility at the site of one of its former, traditional grocery store buildings in a mixed-use neighborhood. Rather than demolishing the existing “brick and mortar” building, it is adaptively reusing the building by converting it to a new “click and mortar” facility.
For many retailers, the traditional retail approach includes a commercial building with a significant retail display and sales area directly accessible by customers selecting and purchasing their goods onsite. But new approaches are popping up every day. The new approach referenced above allows customers to place orders online using their electronic devices or onsite using tablets located in the building’s vestibule area. Orders are processed and fulfilled onsite and either picked up by customers or delivered to customers via a delivery service.
This local retailer is just one example of an emerging business trend whereby “shopping fulfillment centers” are occupying vacant, former retail store buildings located in close proximity to customers.