Changes in Store: Seven Retail Trends to Watch in 2020

Girl shopping in boutique shop

Changes in Store: Seven Retail Trends to Watch in 2020

January 16, 2020

Each quarter, we examine the trends that are shaping the retail world — and share our insights with you. As we kick off a new decade, our Research + Analysis team is keeping their finger on the pulse of the latest retail trends and strategies that are due to make big waves in the retail landscape.

Rental and Subscription Services for the Urban Renter

Nur Asri, Senior Research Strategist

Sharing economy services aimed at Millennials and Gen Z are popping up left and right as the cohort lives in increasingly smaller and temporary urban spaces. Fashionable favorite Rent the Runway, Table and Teaspoon’s tablescape rentals, and rentable curated home furnishings from Fernish allow for a minimal and flexible lifestyle without sacrificing on style.

Click and Collect Reduces Deliveries and Increases In-Store Foot Traffic

Christopher Chandler-Liu, Research Analyst

Alternative shipping options for online orders, like BOPIS (buy online and pick up in-store, also known as click and collect) are keeping sales strong by minimizing returns and maximizing in-store foot traffic. Customers can check their orders for accuracy and fit in-store, giving retailers the opportunity to leverage the customers’ time in their physical stores for upselling. According to the International Council of Shipping Centers’ Holiday Consumer Purchasing Trends Study, nearly one-third of shoppers opted to click and collect during the 2019 holiday season.

Retail Mash-Ups

Kate Paine, Research Team Lead

As the retail industry is getting reinvented, boundaries between retail and hospitality are blurred to produce retail mash-ups, a blend of hospitality touches in traditional retail spaces produces the experiences that audiences are flocking to. As a result of downsizing, retailers are combining dissimilar concepts into hybrid stores to capture key demographics, from bars in department stores to bank-coworking-café hybrids like Capital One Café.

Online Shopping is Changing City Streets

Larisa Ortiz, Managing Director of Research + Analysis

Cities are dealing with the side effects of more and more same-day deliveries. Increasing delivery trucks rumbling through neighborhood side streets means that streets are the new battleground for parked cars, cyclists, delivery trucks, and more as they battle for curb space and cause traffic congestion. Who will win the race for curb space and how will cities manage the secondary impacts of evolution in retail when it comes to the streets they manage? Learn more about how online shopping is changing our city streets in Larisa’s latest blog post. 

Combined Bricks and Clicks

Heather Arnold, Principal of Research + Analysis

The retail industry is abuzz as the effects of online shopping continues to take its toll on brick-and-mortar stores. Headlines are peppered with phrases like “retail apocalypse,” its difficult to tell who’s actually reporting reputable facts and figures versus falsifications. One factor causing this confusion can be contributed to the fact that national chain stores are not recording year-over-year in-store sales as they have been impacted by online purchasing too much to be useful, masking the actual changes happening within the retail world.

Saying ‘See You Later’ to Fast Fashion

Baiwei Zhang, Research Analyst 

Fast fashion is becoming less popular as evidenced by the fall of fast-fashion giant Forever 21. Challenged by the diversity of e-commerce options and sustainable and environmental values outweighing instant-gratification fashion, consumers are turning their focus back to quality, long-lasting, and ethically sourced and produced goods.

The downfall of fast-fashion and big-box retailers will make way for small boutique stores and potentially the rise of local businesses. As we see consumers turn their focus to shopping small, local, and sustainable, we may also see that mindset will have a ripple effect on other industries, like food and beverage.

Instagram’s Influence on the Rise

Mikaela Strech, Research Strategist

In recent years, social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat have added features to become robust e-commerce channels. With some initial success, these personalized platforms are becoming an increasingly significant opportunity for retailers in getting their products in front of their intended audience.

Highly-targeted retail ads from social media platforms like Instagram cater to consumers’ desire for personalization and convenience; Instagram – the media platform that has been shown to most influence users shopping habits — says that 75% of users have responded after seeing brand content on their feed. For an emerging e-commerce brand, this kind of traffic can influence a local retailer’s operations, including the need to move into a brick and mortar space. 


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By The Streetsense Collective