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know thy community

know thy community


The shopping habits of the American consumer have shifted dramatically since the advent of e-commerce, thereby impacting how individuals interact with brick-and-mortar retail stores. Consumer expectations have changed, so that shoppers now hope that a trip to the store will satisfy not only the desire to acquire physical goods, but also the wish for human connection. Thus, consumers expect retail centers to provide relevant goods and services to the community while also fostering positive social interaction.

The resurgence of independent bookstores, which declined precipitously for decades, highlights the importance of implementing Harvard Business School Professor Ryan Raffaelli’s 3 Cs framework: community, curation, and convening. In this paper, we provide an overview of Raffaelli’s research, define the function of a brick and mortar store in today’s supercharged cyber society, and identify key findings relevant to owners of community shopping centers.

At Longpoint, our goal is to create gathering places that reflect the communities’ identity and character, provide an opportunity for people to convene, and is tailored with goods and services to local interests.