The most important metric in retail

With consumer consumption rapidly moving online, the last few years has seen an increasingly ruthless assessment by retailers of the value of their physical store estates. 

And the result hasn’t been pretty.  There’s been blood letting on high streets and in shopping centres across the world, with countless stores having ‘fallen foul’ of the key valuation metrics – typically sales per square feet - put in place.

Now, in a really thought provoking piece, Doug Stephens (aka The Retail Prophet) has recently argued the case in influential title the Business of Fashion, for stores’ value being measured in terms of media value.

It seems a stretch at first, but the case is compelling.  While the digital landscape is becoming so crowded that a 34% YoY growth in digital market spending resulted in an increase of just 3% in actual clicks (Merkle), Doug Stephens argues that physical stores that can still draw crowds that snake down the roads at the peak of their pulling power, have a unique ability to act as gathering places in which to showcase a brand.

Physical stores also have the capacity to offer an experience that is far more immersive than can be offered by most on or offline media outlets, with shoppers able to live and internalise brand stories, understand and experience products and feel like part of a brand community.

Intrigued? Why not read more to see if you’re as convinced as we are…