Branches should become financial health and wellness centers

Too much emphasis on selling has kept retail banking providers from a key opportunity. Banks and credit unions can enrich people's lives by transforming under-used branches from transaction centers into places for advice, shared learning, collaborating, working, celebrating — even exercising. Helping consumers reduce financial stress will rebuild connections with communities.

The ever-changing retail environment is seeing a significant shift from product-based stores to immersive, brand-building experiences.

This is visible all over the world, but one of the latest and best examples can be seen at Samsung KX. This 2,150 square foot space offers guests a range of experiences, events and skill-sharing workshops curated in partnership with several community groups. Visitors can’t actually purchase products in the store, as there aren’t any registers or price tags. Instead, Samsung introduces a one-of-a-kind brand experience.

The whole premise of Samsung KX centers around people’s lives, showing how technology can enrich real life activities rather than compete with them — a truly holistic approach.

The reasons the big brands are revising their retail strategies are obvious. Consumers are increasingly browsing and buying online, resulting in less traffic and reduced branch sales. Faced with this reality, brands can either reduce costs, by shutting stores and concentrating on digital, or embrace change and revise the fundamental role of physical spaces.


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