The Future of Spaces
The Future of Spaces
It wasn’t too long ago when to sell a product, or even a service, you required a physical location; be it a shop, a restaurant or a market stall. However, with the dawn of the internet and the advancements in the technology sector many individuals and companies are now able to sell tangible products from anywhere in the world, or a proposition a service from a desk in their bedroom without the customer even consciously knowing. Some of the biggest technology companies in the world don’t even own what they sell – AirBnB don’t own houses, Uber don’t own cars, Spotify don’t own the music and Ebay don’t own their products.
On the other hand, Deliveroo are a company that are starting to ‘own’ what they sell with the food delivering service funding small kitchens for young chefs and restaurants in industrial parks -where there is no footfall. Their ‘Editions’ programme that has just raised £284m are an example of a ‘dark kitchens’ and how spaces are changing. To gain permission, design, install and start a restaurant can costs thousands, come with high risk and be caught up in local bureaucracy. However, with these new small kitchens it allows a soft launch to the street food operator and helps to provide a greater offering to Deliveroo’s customers.
Office space has changed considerably in recent years with the traditional office layout of directors and managers having their own office now being shunned for an open plan collaborative working floor. Studies suggest that forming separate offices for management creates segregation, envy and stifles creative conversations. In contrast hot desking and open plan offices allow for collaborative work to occur and teams bonding through social interactions. This may not be totally practical as privacy or quiet spaces are needed, so office now need to be adaptable, both in terms of layout but also allowing for company growth .
There have been many reports of the ‘death of the high street’ and ‘there is no future in bricks and mortar’ although there are many recent reports contradicting this with physical stores making a resurgence and many, predominately ecommerce, companies now investing in physical spaces. Customers now require a 360 degree shopping experience, from secondary research online to going in-store and physically handling the product, creating ownership perception helping to complete the sales process. Online and offline now work together to deliver an experience to the customer that they cannot get from either one nor the other.
Spaces have to adapt to the changing climate and customers’ demands and with the competition as fierce as ever they now need to not just appeal to the customers but target them.