On January 14, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield unveiled ‘Westfield How We Shop: The Next Decade’, its biggest retail trends report to date, which predicts 2025 will be the experience tipping point in retail, when more than half of retail space in stores will be dedicated to providing experiences.
The report reveals the needs and wants of 15,700 consumers across ten countries in Europe including France, the UK, Spain, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy and the Netherlands and predicts the five major trends to shape the industry over the next ten years including:
• UPSIDE-DOWN RETAIL – the entire retail model and peoples’ shopping habits will turn on its head by 2025, with 59% of consumers expecting more than half of retail space will be devoted to experience rather than product by this time. 75% of consumers have the view that this will happen by 2027. 81% of customers globally are willing to pay more for experience with the most requested in-store activities needing to be creative, health and games orientated.
• ANTI-PRESCRIPTION – 56% of European consumers are frustrated by inaccurate online retail recommendations proving retailers should stay close to their consumers through data. Nearly 60% want to browse full ranges, not curated edits. Smart digital and bricks brands that use their online space to showcase the full range and their physical stores to surprise and delight could become tomorrow’s star performers. Consumers are requesting more of their loved online brands to enter bricks & mortar, with the likes of streaming services Netflix, Spotify and Tinder all proving popular.
• SELF-SUSTAINING STORES – consumer conscience will rapidly accelerate a demand for more sustainable solutions with 71% of people demanding products are made in-store. 76% of Europeans want retailers to do more to address environmental concerns.
• RETAIL SURGERY – retailers will take personalisation to the next level using science to diagnose precise needs, which could be worth more than €4 Tn per year in Europe2. More than a third of customers are willing to provide their DNA in return for accurate recommendations.
• LOCALLY-MORPHED – retail spaces of tomorrow will become community hubs with 70% of consumers desiring them to reflect the people who live in the area. 51% would prefer local brands to well-known ones.
The launch of the ‘Westfield How We Shop: The Next Decade’ report follows the roll-out of the only global shopping, leisure and dining destination brand, Westfield, across Continental Europe. Ten flagship destinations and two future developments were rebranded in France, Poland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands in 2019 with more locations to follow in 2020.
The ‘Westfield How We Shop: The Next Decade’ report is one of the largest European studies of consumers’ retail habits and is an industry first. Understanding customers’ needs today and tomorrow is part of our commitment to driving the industry forward and ensuring we provided the ultimate destinations four visitors to enjoy and our retailers and brands to thrive in.Christophe Cuvillier
The important role of the physical store is changing and retailers need to enter another decade of reinvention to remain relevant. Retailers that lead on sustainability, devote more space to experience, provide free-range browsing online and in store, deliver precise product recommendations based on science and think local will reap the benefits.Myf Ryan