Retail Trends 2017
The ideas, innovations, and interests that will shape the year ahead:
+ Experience as a product: Re-thinking the how of product display and delivery will be critical. Experience is about creating emotion and visceral response as a prerequisite for shopping – and will not bypass those businesses that sell a service rather than a traditional tangible product. Examples of the outsized investments being made in experience retailing include the growing popularity of Rick Caruso-style shopping destinations (e.g., The Grove) and Westfield's $1B+ renovation of the Century City Mall, as well as Apple's renovation of its retail stores into "community centers" focused on skill building and social interaction over a traditional cashwrap style format.
+ the growing adoption of pop-up formats on Main Streets and inside department stores and bog box stores, to create excitement and the sense of novelty and urgency
+ the never-ending search for what's new in retail concepts: what will engage and excite the consumer, what will draw him/her away from the screen and into the store: novelty in product selection, novelty in space design, benefits available in brick-and-mortar, real-life and not online
+ the focus on omni-channel: how to integrate the experience, both emotionally and operationally, between mobile, desktop, and in-store.
+ increasing reliance on previously behind-the-scenes service providers and distributors to double as "partners" to small and emerging businesses. In an effort to fill the pipeline with what's new and what's next (see above) and to ensure these new retail concepts survive and grow into the next generation of mid-tier brands. For examples, see Shopify's support of fashion with the Capsule show, and The Workshop at Macy's, a free vendor retail development program. In the case of Shopify, they are expanding their brief beyond what one would expect from an old-time tech platform and serving as a bit of a marketing and launch pad for their clients. Macy's is investing in their product pipeline by supporting the development of small suppliers.