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What’s in Store for Retail in 2015?

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Over the next several weeks, we’ll be looking at retail trends for 2015,since these developments are increasing at an exponential rate.

Price WaterHouse Coopers and TNS Retail Forward gives us a view of what to look forward to in retail in 2015.

Smaller footprints in the form of designer flea markets, roving trunk shows, and store-within-a-store formats will be more prevalent. The sustainability trend will drive the downsizing of products, packaging, resource consumption and waste. More personalized niche spaces will dot the retail landscape as people look for smaller, more intimate venues.

The 1,000-outlet chain store with the cookie-cutter narrow, deep assortment of items will diminish in popularity. There will be smaller numbers of stores comprising big chains, since new concepts will be on the rise vs. established concepts, so retailers will have to be more nimble and flexible to recognize consumer likes and segments. Ironically, the prediction is that specialty retailing will go back to its roots and get closer to the consumer. And that’s an important point in differentiating themselves from pure Etailers.

It’s not that big-box retailers will go away, but there will be more concentration of market share on a global scale. After chains consolidate, the remaining players will be segmented based on price tier and consumer lifestyle, targeting modular flexibility inside the box and multi-channel reach outside the box. More than being online, multi-channel will involve distribution and marketing models—pop-up stores, virtual stores, and retailers partnering with service providers like spas, hotels, etc.

The changing face of shopping malls will reflect in how retailers position themselves. Stores will grow by being more than just places that offer “stuff” to buy; they’ll be purveyors of lifestyles, and goods and services. Service offers will help bring the brand experience to life. Branded supplier-retailer partnerships will expand but so will private retail brands. More suppliers will work vertically with retailers on unique brand and product offers. Retailers will develop their own private brands to extend lines and establish credibility.

The concept of “the store” will expand to offer brand experiences and immediate fulfillment, inventory-less spaces, drive-throughs and touch screens that take orders.

Stores will become lifestyle centers where busy consumers can shop, work, socialize, eat and be entertained. As more of these demographic and generational lifestyle centers emerge, new tenant mixes and anchors will focus on customer lifestyles, not just customer shopping styles. With sustainability becoming an increasingly important issue, these centers will also provide a cost-effective, resource-efficient response to limited land expansion, since suburban growth is expected to accelerate.

Other issues will focus away from conventional consumer research, which concentrates on who is shopping for which products and where, and instead look to shopper insights, which is about understanding the needs, attitudes and behaviors of customers in shopping and buying mode. This is broken down by looking at why the shopper buys (or doesn’t buy); why certain items were purchased (vs. those which never had a chance); and how the shopping experience affects the buying decision.

Retail management will need to embrace technology at a rapid pace—especially when it comes to listening to what shoppers are looking for. Retailers will need to expand their insights and spot trends, adopting more tools and technologies that enable more focused responses, offering greater opportunities to be specific and relevant.

More E-commerce sites will continue to establish an offline presence, since they need to gain market share. And most retail sales still take place on Main Street. Providing seamless transitions from online to in-store is a necessity. This is good news for brick-and-mortar because it validates the need for physical retail, but with competition heating up, the traditional physical store will need to step up its game.

TAGS: retail, retail trends, retailers,
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Posted by: Connie
Connie  pic

Great Article!