RetailSpaces 2021

The pandemic accelerated everything already in acceleration. Then we came out of lockdown and it was like the brakes failed—change came faster than ever. The idea of a self-contained, physical store no longer held. The flurry of options available to consumers have since, like a Supernova, exploded into a thousand pieces. You can shop anywhere,...

RestaurantSpaces 2021

Every fast food restaurant understands the importance of having a drive through, usually to the tune of about 70% of a unit’s volume. 70%. That’s a lot, but in many cases, a low number. Also, that high stat was prevalent before 2020. Other restaurants, in particular fast casual, demurred at the idea of a drive...

HealthSpaces 2021

The Times They are a Changin’! We are at the precipice of exponential change in healthcare due to the rising convergence of advances in technology, medical science, and an increasing demand for health-related products and services. The idea of consumerism isn’t new to healthcare, but never has it been a more crucial time for providers...

The Store Of The Future Isn’t A Store

So what is it? It’s a mix of things that retailers have to piece together just right


This piece was written by Ashlee Kieler and originally appeared on the RetailSpaces blog. The store of the future is a concept discussed year after year. Meanwhile, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to pin down exactly how the consumer will be tomorrow, let alone a few years from now. 2020 has complicated things further. Widespread store...

The Restaurant of the Future isn’t a Restaurant

Disruptive trends that were already impacting the restaurant biz have been rocketing


This piece was written by Nicole Rupersburg and originally appeared on the RestaurantSpaces blog. What is the restaurant of the future going to look like? Right now, quite frankly, it’s impossible to say. What we know for certain is that, at least in the near-term, the restaurant of the immediate future is going to look...

The Future of Healthcare is Retail

Customer Experience strategist shares how healthcare's future is directly related to retailing


This piece was written by Hannah Chenoweth and originally appeared on the HealthSpaces blog. Healthcare systems are increasingly looking to retail for innovative strategies. With 81% of patients unsatisfied with their healthcare experience, providers have much to gain from looking at best practices in this experience-driven, consumer-focused ecosystem. After all, retailers are experts at providing...

WDCast – Q+A With Michael Owens

We had an energetic and informative conversation with the co-founder of influence group: Michael Owens. Influence group delivers an event platform for B2B events, including all the events featured in this very Wayfind issue, including Restaurant Spaces, Retail Spaces, and Health Spaces. Listen to the full podcast interview here, but while you’re here check out...

The Macy’s Effect

Author Lee Peterson Executive Vice President, Brand, Strategy & Design WD Partners It was February 28, 2005. The day Terry Lundgren, CEO of Federated Department Stores, announced one of the largest deals in retail history: The merger of 491 May Department Stores with 450 locations operated by Federated. You could sum up the deal’s promise,...

11 Come 11: A Wayfind History of Google Trends

All bets are on and we are feeling lucky… 11 come 11! This isn’t beginner’s luck, because we have officially published 50 Wayfind issues! That’s 250 articles, 50 full issues, and 11 years of content from the best thinkers. We thought it would be fun to take a look back at relevant trends over the...

Dark Restaurants: A Case Study in Innovation

This piece was written by Nicole Rupersburg and originally appeared on the RestaurantSpaces blog. What is the restaurant of the future going to look like? Right now, quite frankly, it’s impossible to say. What we know for certain is that, at least in the near-term, the restaurant of the immediate future is going to look...

5 Ways Healthcare is Changing Forever

Author Dan Stanek Executive Vice President WD Partners It is time for the healthcare industry to embrace the change it’s facing. Think about the combination of major factors that are all affecting the industry at the same time. Technology. New competition. A global pandemic. Healthcare providers who refuse to adjust to this new reality may...

An Open Letter From A Millennial

Fix Your Omni-Channel!


Author Jeff Arps Sr. Director, Business Development WD Partners Dear retailers, Just last week I woke up after a great night’s sleep. Feeling ambitious, I grabbed my phone from my nightstand and opened up Instagram to see what was going on. Scrolling through I saw one of my favorite retailers posted that a jacket I...

We Believe in Showroom Stores, So Does Dyson

Author Lee Peterson EVP, Thought Leadership & Marketing WD Partners Brand: Dyson, a UK appliance maker owned by eccentric billionaire James Dyson. Company sales: $3 billion+ Showroom Network: Paris, Tokyo, Moscow, Jakarta, New York, London, San Francisco, Toronto. Dyson also now operates 460 stores in China, including flagship stores in Shanghai and Beijing. Recent Showroom...

Mike Tyson vs The Great Accelerator

Authors Lee Peterson EVP, Thought Leadership & Marketing WD Partners Tara Yavorsky VP, Marketing WD Partners We’ve said it once and we’ll say it a hundred times more. COVID-19 didn’t disrupt our industry, it accelerated it by catapulting brands forward and forcing them to meet the rapidly evolving preferences of consumers. Customers were already using...

Feeding the People: Restaurant Concepts that Drive Consumption

Authors Lee Peterson EVP, Thought Leadership & Marketing WD Partners Tara Yavorsky VP, Marketing WD Partners Jody Wasbro SVP, Strategy & Experience Design WD Partners Robot chefs. AI taking drive-thru orders. Drone delivery. A tech-influenced restaurant industry is no longer a far-off future. It’s here. And it has been brought on by some of the...

Amazon Be Slayin’ It!

The past year has been intense for our industry. Yet many brands, stores, restaurants, and chains have risen to the challenge and found a way to succeed amongst the chaos and change. In the words of the great Beyonce, they slayed it. How did they do it? By listening to the consumer. Hearing, learning, and...

New EV Research (It’s Not Just About Tesla)

Author Tara Yavorsky VP, Marketing WD Partners You can't escape the Electric Vehicle talk these days. Major players are putting a stake in the ground publicly proclaiming they will be "all electric" in as little as 5 years. Exxon's stock dropped in half last year and Elon Musk is hosting SNL episodes. Earlier this year,...

The Emergence of Fast Fill Commerce

Are “Dark Stores” the store of the future? Our research indicates the answer is an unequivocal sometimes. But for starters, the lexicon is all wrong. If this is the commonplace term used to define the new future of commerce, it’s a dismal one and demands to be rebranded with more positive and hopeful language. Technically,...

Malls Are on Life Support: Not So Fast

Author Lee Peterson EVP, Thought Leadership & Marketing WD Partners Digital has officially dominated. If you have been with us throughout the past few years, you know that we have been following the state of physical retail in the face of an eCommerce explosion. We have done our research, analyzed the data, and brainstormed more...

Addressing Healthcare Inequity: Through Empathy & Innovation

Author Dan Stanek Executive Vice President WD Partners The coronavirus pandemic has exposed a dramatic, but often overlooked, aspect of US healthcare – disparities in care and outcomes across groups based on social, racial, ethnic, economic and environmental characteristics. It has been well-documented that “social determinants of health” impact 80% of a person’s health and...

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Turns out the grass may in fact be greener on the other side. Especially if your other side includes an outdoor turf field, rock climbing wall and batting cages. While many retailers have struggled over the last 12 months, Dick’s Sporting Goods (DSG) ended the 2020 financial year on a high note. According to their...

Digital First – Why It’s Essential

Author Lee Peterson EVP, Thought Leadership & Marketing WD Partners December 1997, a vivid memory. I spent a lot of time setting up a PC and modem the previous month and now, in what seemed amazing at the time, I was Christmas shopping. One present, done. Two. Three. The whole list. Back then, the choices...

How to Save Today’s Mall

Author Lee Peterson EVP, Thought Leadership & Marketing WD Partners Barrie Scardina Head of Retail for the Americas Cushman & Wakefield On Cyber Monday, the retail industry achieved a new milestone–the single largest e-commerce day on record with $10.8B in sales! According to a report from Creditntell, this represented over a 200% increase from 2016...

It’s Time to Get Real About Consumerism in Healthcare

Author Dan Stanek Executive Vice President WD Partners The following is an excerpt from our newest H&W POV. The full version can be downloaded here. We are at the precipice of exponential change in healthcare. The rising convergence of advances in technology, medical science, and an increasing demand for health-related products and services coupled with...

Dark Restaurants: A Case Study in Innovation

This piece was written by Nicole Rupersburg and originally appeared on the RestaurantSpaces blog. What is the restaurant of the future going to look like? Right now, quite frankly, it’s impossible to say. What we know for certain is that, at least in the near-term, the restaurant of the immediate future is going to look...

3 Ways Grocers Should Invest Their Resources

Author Joanne Heyob SVP, Operations Strategy & Design WD Partners There is no question that last year changed everything, and the grocery industry is no exception; it was already on its way to innovation as the adoption of eCommerce opened the door to more convenient purchasing options, but now we have seen a shift that...

A Holiday Like No Other

Author Lee Peterson EVP, Thought Leadership & Marketing WD Partners John Lennon once famously wrote, "so this is Christmas, and what have you done?" Boy, Johnny, good call on 2020. Let's see, what have I done… about 150 zoom calls, 1,000 walks to nowhere, 4,200 cups of coffee, 3,000 miles on the bike, 12 binged...

Peace Out 2020

3 Ways to Bring It in the New Year


Author Joanne Heyob SVP, Operations Strategy & Design WD Partners Exit election predictions, enter holiday shopping projections. With November well underway and Black Friday (is that still a thing?) on the horizon, we have been wondering how holiday shopping looks in a pandemic-stricken market. Reflecting on 2019, it was evident that brick and mortar was...

Growing Up Fast

The New Healthcare Ecosystem


Author Dan Stanek Executive Vice President WD Partners COVID as the Spark As the world knows, the ongoing situation surrounding COVID-19 is making transformative waves across all industries from recreation to retail to restaurants. Commercial systems have been forced to reevaluate and restructure their business models to remain relevant in this new era where the...

Can Customers Predict Sales? Answer: Duh!

Authors John Bajorek EVP, Strategic Growth & Innovation WD Partners Tara Yavorsky VP, Marketing WD Partners We’d be remiss to not have some sort of “look back on 2020” article in this year’s Holiday issue of Wayfind. Especially given the WTF kind of year this one has been. Phew! The pandemic has done a number...

The Store of the Future Is Not a Store

People don’t have to go to stores anymore, they have to want to go to stores


Author Lee Peterson EVP, Thought Leadership & Marketing WD Partners Although we've been talking about that statement for quite some time now, this year has really taken it to another level. Store and mall traffic were at all-time lows in 2019 but boy, would we take those numbers now. Many retailers were closed, literally closed...

Retail Healthcare is Here

Author Dan Stanek Executive Vice President WD Partners CVS announces 1,500 HealthHub locations. Walmart pilots Walmart Health. Walmart has nearly 5,000 locations (US). After initial testing in 20 stores, Walgreens expands primary care clinic test to 700 locations, which is to say; it’s working. What was once a minor threat to healthcare systems —a test...

How to be the Amazon of Auto Sales

Authors John Bajorek EVP, Strategic Growth & Innovation WD Partners Mark Bateman VP, Business Development WD Partners Tara Yavorsky VP, Marketing WD Partners The auto industry has seen a lot of changes in the last few years, including car shares and subscriptions, the rise of car tech and driverless cars, and the entry of “new”...

It’s Time to Reimagine the Dental Experience

Author Dan Stanek Executive Vice President WD Partners Consumerism has been traveling its way across healthcare to all tentacles of the industry. The provider/doctor-led ways of the past have finally moved toward putting the people in control. More comfortable and interesting waiting lounges, customer-friendly appointment times, virtual healthcare. All of these things have made life...

2020 Predictions—Where Are We Now?

Author Tara Yavorsky VP, Marketing WD Partners Because 2020 has been the year of "what the…", we thought it would be fun to look back at the article we published at the beginning of this crazy a$$ year and see what has come to fruition, what was a wild guess, and what still has a...

How to Reorganize Like a 21st Century Business

Authors Joanne Heyob SVP, Operations Strategy & Design WD Partners John Bajorek EVP, Strategic Growth & Innovation WD Partners Lee Peterson EVP, Thought Leadership & Marketing WD Partners We recently heard someone say that the Coronavirus didn’t disrupt retail—it actually accelerated retail. We couldn’t agree more. Brands have been catapulted into a dramatic state of...

WD’s State of Shopping Research

Author Lee Peterson EVP, Thought Leadership & Marketing WD Partners No one truly knows what will happen post-COVID, mostly because we haven’t reached the post part yet. The country has tried to make some semblance of a reopening happen to various levels, but most would agree that we’re not where we all want to be...

More Than a Store: The Grocery Store of the Future

Authors Lee Peterson EVP, Thought Leadership & Marketing WD Partners Joanne Heyob SVP, Operations Strategy & Design WD Partners The grocery industry, as a whole, has been reluctant to change. For years, brands have been comfortable knowing they provided an essential service for customers. Executives have seen innovation as an unneeded expense instead of an...

5 Ways Healthcare is Changing Forever

Author Dan Stanek Executive Vice President WD Partners It is time for the healthcare industry to embrace the change it’s facing. Think about the combination of major factors that are all affecting the industry at the same time. Technology. New competition. A global pandemic. Healthcare providers who refuse to adjust to this new reality may...

Accelerating Trends in the Physical Space

Authors Jody Wasbro SVP, Strategy & Experience Design WD Partners John Bajorek EVP, Strategic Growth & Innovation WD Partners Things will never really be the same again. We can all agree on that right? Will you ever lick your fingers before trying to pry open the fresh produce bag at the grocery store again? Will...

Best of WDCast

Looking for something to listen to as you walk the dog for the 100th time? Or maybe you need a break from hearing your kids bickering over what to watch on Netflix? Well have we got a treat for you! Meet WDCast—our bi-weekly(ish) podcast that features industry thought leaders, movers, shakers and all around wicked...

The Store of the Future is Not a Store

The following is a preview of our upcoming white paper. The last couple months have seemingly changed everything about stores. Social distancing. Employees behind shields. Customers wearing masks. And how about these stories exemplifying how quickly things have changed: Walmart’s app sees record downloads, surpasses Amazon by 20% (TechCrunch) Amazon stops accepting new online grocery...

21st Century Grocery: Open for Business

In the last two months we’ve witnessed an already turbulent grocery market explode into a flurry of activity. From safety measures, to empty shelves, to reduced store hours and all the missing toilet paper, grocers are being forced to respond and react quickly to the changing and demanding needs of their associates and customers. This...