The hyperlocal store

Stores and stores specialize with a clear style, more niche-oriented and less generalist in terms of range, with services tailored to the needs of local shoppers.

There is a clear pattern as to how shops and businesses become specialised: they find a niche rather than offer a wide range of products. Retailers are now changing the formats of their flagships and big-box stores, opting for smaller shops which offer services that are tailored to the needs of local buyers.

Drivers of change

Buyers throughout the world are experiencing a greater desire to buy from their neighbourhood shops and buy local products, a practice that first came about as a direct result of the plethora of store closures brought about by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, but a movement that has brought about a long-term behavioural shift among consumers. Accenture reports that 79% of global consumers plan to continue buying at nearby shops. 

The burning desire caused by the pandemic now means that people prioritise local products, reassigning importance to community collectives.

“Fulfilment of not only the monetary transaction you do by buying a product, but also fulfilment in terms of the engagement you have with a brand”.
Samir Bantal, Director of AMO.

The result

Consumers’ expenditure is no longer centred around city centres and shopping centres, it is shifting towards local neighbourhoods, providing small shops the golden opportunity to understand, analyse and adapt their new store formats to specific communities. In the case of brands, demonstrating that they understand the lifestyles of customers in the neighbourhoods and areas that they want to reach is vital, and it will be fundamental for them to adjust the price of their products and adapt their product ranges in accordance with local income and seasonal needs, meeting the needs of these clients quickly and as best they can.

Design keys

Local materials

Shops connect to local culture through endemic materials which turn the store into the standard bearer of the region’s products.

Suitable product portfolio

The space and product range collude to provide customers with a unique alternative.

Break spaces

Homely touches added warmth to spaces and help create a living room ambience in the centre of the store which acts as an interlude where shoppers can take a moment to relax.

Adapted to consumers

Brands must be able to prove that they have given thought to the lifestyle and day-to-day routine of clients in the neighbourhood or region that they want to reach, adapting their offer accordingly.

Case studies

Aesop, a store in Seoul, inspired by Korean mangdaengi kilns, is designed to be a welcoming and cavernous refuge with a warm and pleasant interior that stands in sharp contrast to the outside.

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Jaspal, a store in Bangkok designed by Studiopepe, is a homage to Thai craftmanship, using locally sourced natural materials such as rattan, linen and wood, alongside tiles and handmade terrazzo flooring.

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Ikea is adjusting to consumers’ hyper-local needs with a new smaller format shop in Queens, New York, resulting in a store that takes into considerations the space restraints that go along with living in the Big Apple. This is something that is on full display in the in-store exhibitions, showing reduced-size bedrooms and products that offer residents of Queens some helpful tips on how to optimise space in their homes.
Designed to “serve and celebrate the people in each local community”, Nike Unite’s new store model is all about the community where it is based, hiring staff from nearby neighbourhoods and featuring a notice board that advertises local events and sports teams, while the interior is decorated with items that bring the history of the area to life.

Koe Donuts Kyoto, designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, features an interior that makes wide use of bamboo that is ethically grown near the old district of Arashiyama in Kyoto, Japan.