Experimental Retail

The post pandemic trend changing retail today as we know it, See what companies like Nike, Dicks, and others are doing to impact change.


One year into this pandemic and retail is still trying to figure out what to do next. Some retailers have lost their business entirely, some have closed stores forever, other have restructured or downsized, and now we are seeing some retailer taking the Star Trek approach and bolding going where no retailer has gone before, The Experimental Retail Approach.

Pro vaxer’s incentives:

Some examples we’ve seen recently are employers offering vaccine incentives. The hope behind this strategy is getting as many workers covid free as possible, which will hopefully limit the amount of missed time and bring workforces back to functional levels. Missed time in the workplace has skyrocketed due covid restrictions and companies putting their employees, and customers, safety first. However we cannot neglect that these restrictions come with a heavy financial impact, such as increased ETO time, decreased traffic, and increases in sales per hour, all with most retails seeing soft sales trends. This all leading to poor moral and customer service limitations. These Pro-vax companies are hoping they can incentivize their way back to normal.

Come out and play:

Vaccines are not the only experiment out there. Dick’s sporting good stores are hoping that herd immunity is around the corner as they take a totally different approach. Dick’s has announced The Dick’s House of Sports. Theses stores will include outdoor fields for sporting events, a rock-climbing wall, and indoor wellness spaces. These guys are hoping to give reason for people to want to leave their homes to stay fit and healthy while having a fun and new shopping experience. This is a very bold approach especially with retail traffic being so down. Hey Dick’s for what it worth, I’m there!

DTC and E-Commerce trends:

Nike while not entirely pandemic related is going full scale DTC (Direct to consumers) announce that is is cutting ties with brands such as DSW, Urban Outfitters, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Fred Meyer, Zappos, Dillard’s, City Blue, VIM, EbLens, Bob’s Stores and Boscov’s. In 2020 Nike’s DTC generated roughly 12.5 billion. Trends show that by 2022 Americans will be spending close to $1 trillion in e-commerce sales. Talk about being ahead of the curve. Don’t be surprised to see the same from Nike’s competitors.

The Pet Boom:

While so many retailers seeing Covid hardship, others have prospered. Petco being one. In 2020 the pet industry saw a $99 billion dollar boom! Petco saw a 10% jump from 2019 making around 4 billion is 2020 and even jumped back into the market with the ticker WOOF! Love it! Pet retailers are expecting these new pet parents to spend with them for the next ten to twenty years! This trend is largely created by people migrating from city to suburbs. With that in mind Petco is focusing on keeping every last customer by launching its Whole Health program. A pet well being focus. This pet philosophy will focus on the following

  • Physical Health
  • Mental Health
  • Social Health
  • Home Health
  • Accessible Health

Many believe this approach will make Petco a one stop shop for new and old pet owners alike.

As you can see this virus has reshaped retail in so many ways. No one could have imagined how much customer shopping behaviors during a pandemic can effect an industry, but here we are and most likely here we will stay for quite sometime.

Want to continue this conversation? Feel free to comment on our IG and twitter post. Let us know how this pandemic has changed your shopping habits or effected your retail career.