Skip to content

Reimagining Retail: Seizing Opportunities on Main Street and in Ecommerce

Adobestock 151452333 retail web
  • COST


  • TYPE





    6 AIA LU credits available provided by Harvard GSD Executive Education

This is a sponsored event by the Harvard Graduate School of Design Executive Education.

At no time in history has retailing—or, more precisely, the act of acquiring goods, services and experiences—been in more transformative times. For centuries, the retail experience has evolved to meet the needs of the public. And, from the time of the ancient marketplaces to the emergence of Medieval market towns, to High Streets, to Main Streets, shopping malls and modern- day mixed-use complexes all such commerce was the province of an analog world. In the short time frame of a decade this paradigm, grounded in a reality of touch, smell, temperature, varying light and perspective shared with others in a similar quest has been literally undermined, if not in some quarters attacked and replaced by new electronic realities.

But what will retail shopping look like in the post-Pandemic era, once COVID-19 lockdowns are over and people return to the wild for their shopping experiences? Now in its 25th year, this course illustrates the best practices for retail centers responding to the emerging Post-COVID era and changing lifestyles.

Who Should Attend

Architects, city officials, institutional lenders, policy makers, real estate investment trusts, policy makers, residential and commercial real estate developers, retailers and urban planners.

Learning Objectives

  • Explore how modern proven principles of retail development can be combined with the best practices of traditional placemaking, new urbanism and modern shopping center development to create competitive urban commercial centers.
  • Provide an overview of electronic realities, the forces that created and that drive them forward, explore how these two worlds can be mutually supportive.
  • Examine the impact of consumer psychographics and techniques along with the emerging virtual technologies for creating place-based brands.
  • Topics covered include: market research, branding, national retailer criteria and site selection principles.
  • Participants will learn about parking, streetscape, store planning, signage, tenant mix, merchandising plans, leasing, anchors’ roles and successful new urban planning techniques, design criteria, site planning and developer requirements.
  • Also reviewed is the synergy between residential, office, civic and governmental land uses and retailer performance.


Terry Shook, FAIA
Principal, Shook Kelley, Inc.
Full Bio >>

Robert J. Gibbs, AICP, ASLA
President, Gibbs Planning Group, Inc.
Full Bio >>