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For all of the concerning headlines and panic over the future of retail and the growth of ecommerce, few believe that retail is going to completely go away. Kevin E. Kelley of retail design firm Shook Kelley says that retail is going through a massive change, but it is here to stay. “It is going to go through a complete shock to the system,” he tells GlobeSt.com. The shock has designers and developers alike looking five years into the future to build retail that will serve future consumers. This includes separating long-standing trends from fads, focusing on urban retail that is easily accessible to consumers and understanding the difference between shopping and buying—the biggest change to emerge today.

“We are almost always in a three to five year mindset. People get really excited about what is happening right now, and that is a common mistake that people make. They don’t realize that we may be burned out on some of these trends in three years,” Kelley, a founding partner and principal at Shook Kelley, tells GlobeSt.com. “We have to make a property that is more on trend and less on fad, and we have to look at the way that people are going to be living in the next 10 years.”

To look ahead, Kelley separates shoppers into five generational groups and looks at shopping patterns within each to determine what might become a long-term trend. “There are a lot of generational aspects that we look at. There is a sweet spot in retail—but it isn’t an absolute,” he explains. “When you are a kid, you don’t have a lot of control of purchases, but you have a lot of spending money; and when you are really old, you tend to be smarter about your purchases with less vanity and conspicuous consumption. We look at the sweet spot between 26 and 55, and we look at where that audience is moving. We tend to break that audience into five audiences.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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