Bricks-and-mortar (the future of)

Billy Clarke - Managing Director @ Glue
Billy Clarke
  • Delivery Director
  • 3 min read

Over the last few years, we have seen a steady decline in department stores throughout the UK. At the same time, many brands have reinvented their approach to traditional bricks-and-mortar.

Here’s what’s been happening and what we’ve been doing for our partners.

New formats

Some brands like B&Q have opened smaller formats and IKEA is trialing pickup points, both respectively in city centres. BUILT/ completely redesigned their format for builders and launched their first branch drive-thru experience – something we had a very large hand in designing with them.

These businesses share the push for efficiency, developing formats that display their entire range in much smaller spaces. All of these stores offer an improved customer experience and we will see more and more brands following suit over the coming year.

Digital impetus

Brands around the world are pushing their digital content into their stores. McDonald's created industry-leading kiosks where customers can order their meals in a matter of minutes without ever having to queue at the till. JD Sports stores are enhanced with digital displays and kiosks at every turn.

Five years had passed since three had launched their groundbreaking store format and their digital ticket experience had started to feel tired. We partnered with Scoop Retail to deliver a new digital ticket tool for three. Our focus was creating a rich experience where users can discover pricing content that is clear, visible, and dynamic. A perfect blend of customer experience and physical-digital integration.

Enhanced experience

The future of bricks-and-mortar will utilise technology to craft remarkable brand experiences. Cashierless, no check-out line experience as seen with Amazon Go pushes the boundaries of machine learning and computer vision, creating a convenient and seamless shopping experience for customers.

Mobile apps will enhance the physical search and browsing experience within stores through augmented reality and mixed reality. Mobile payments will become even more important: brands that have this at the heart of their mobile strategy will deliver exemplary customer experiences.


If customers believe that bricks-and-mortar offers greater convenience and efficiency, they’ll shop there and become loyal fans for years to come. These three points are only a few of the many possible ways to enhance your physical experience. Speak with us to find out how we can support your brand in making the leap to enhanced brick-and-mortar experiences.

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