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Retail Trends for 2019


The retail industry continues to experience a massive reset. On one side, we have the traditional mall under siege from more convenient online options and the growing desire of Millennials for experience-based shopping.

Here are the significant trends in retail for 2019.

Traditional malls and retailers are struggling.

Sears, JC Penny and Macy's continue on a downward spiral. Sears, once the biggest retailer in America, has reduced its stores from 3,500 to 700 over the last 15 years.

Now! The new customer expectation.

Amazon, Uber and Google have created a high bar. We expect information, services and goods right now! This is the new context that traditional retailers operate within.

Shopping is omnichannel.

As consumers shopping across multiple touchpoints is natural and convenient. For retailers, this is not so easy. Retailers now face the struggle of creating delightful moments for their customers instore, on the phone and across a spectrum of digital media.

Have a look at the Target in-store pickup program and you'll see an example of omnichannel shopping that will bring hope to other retailers.

Traditional retail goes for experience

We've seen a rebirth of independent booksellers recently and this suggests that are ways for old retailers to reinvent themselves. Some great examples of 'experience' are the Sephora Studio, small makeover pods, and Samsung's 837 art pop up.

Malls become town squares

So if malls and the retailer tenants are struggling - what should they do. Well, IKEA centres, Ingka Centres’, are launching their first urban concept will be delivered in the Linkong district of Shanghai in 2022. Their solution is that the mall can be the new town square.

Subscriptions are the new gold.

As tech titans like Amazon disrupt the world of retail, there is also another threat - the subscription. Consumers are showing a significant appetite for services such as StichFix, Dollar Shave, Amazon subscribes and save.

The wealth gap creates a new market

There is a declining middle class and the retail industry is following suit. The rise of dollar stores is an obvious indicator of this trend. Even better, let's look at fashion. Affordable retailer Old Navy is going gangbusters. Alongside them, luxury brand Coach is enjoying similar success. But right in the middle - J Crew is struggling.

Technology owns the transaction

We're seeing IOT and other technologies take centre place in retail. Amazon Go, a cashier less shopping experience, will reach 3000 stores in the US alone. And today, you can use your face to purchase a burger at KFC China.