retail sector: almost a third of retail stores are opting for IoT solutions: 91 square feet

91 Squarefeet, a retail store development company, said nearly a third of retail stores are opting for IoT (Internet of Things) solutions, helping retailers seamlessly integrate a range of technologies into their strategy. omnichannel through brick-and-mortar changes. The number could reach 50% of all stores, even as retailers aggressively add new stores and link them to their e-commerce channels.

“We are also seeing an upward trend around the adoption of electronics and IOTs such as commercial digital signs, proximity and lighting sensors around the entrance, automatic start/stop timer in electrical circuits, beacon sensors, among others,” said Amit Bansal, co-founder of 91 Squarefeet who has worked on 550 stores.

The company, which has more than two dozen customers including Tata, Aditya Birla Group and

Retail over the past year said retail fixtures are becoming more modular compared to pre-Covid as configuration can be used from store to store without additional cost and is easier to standardize.

The Gurgaon-based startup creates a standard retail expansion playbook for brands looking to grow their retail footprint nationwide. Using an AI-powered project management tool, brands can upload all layout components for their store templates.

In India, over 98% of the retail fit-out industry is unorganized, and increasing the offline footprint is seen as a huge challenge. Currently, there is no standard process for opening and scaling offline retail stores. Opening a physical retail store is a daunting task, and most of the time retail store launches are delayed, which has a direct impact on costs.

“Store menu boards are going digital as they provide flexibility and an immersive experience. With rising real estate costs, it makes a big difference to have the most ergonomic product placements and data is generated by IOTs. Proximity and movement in electrical circuits also optimize energy consumption,” added Bansal.

The company, part of the current Y-Combinator W-22 batch, raised $1 million in September last year.

Businesses have also accelerated store launches to take advantage of lower rates as rents for marquee properties, particularly on high streets, fell to their lowest level in three years. Major listed retailers and fast food chains opened nearly four new stores a day on average in FY20-21, despite covid restrictions forcing them to close existing stores and delay construction by weeks .


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