Published on January 4th, 2019 | by Emergent Enterprise0
The Surprisingly Bright Future of Retail
Six predictions for how we’ll shop in 2019, from embracing IRL stores to ditching Amazon.
[Source Image: Meilun/iStock]
Everybody, I’d like to announce that the retail apocalypse has been officially cancelled. It turns out, humans do occasionally like putting down their smartphones, leaving their sofas, and going to a real brick and mortar store to make a purchase.
Over the last three years, thousands of stores shuttered–and dozens of companies went bankrupt. In 2017 alone, 7000 stores closed their doors, and many brands with large retail footprints filed for Chapter 11, including Toys R Us, Gymboree, Payless, Wet Seal, and The Limited. Many experts expected 2018 to be even more disastrous to the retail industry.
But that didn’t happen. In 2018, about half as many stores closed as the year before, and in an interest twist, we saw the rebirth of physical retail, with startups developing their own take on stores and large real estate companies rethinking how malls should be designed. Looking back, the problem wasn’t that people had gotten too lazy to leave their homes; it’s that brands had become complacent about making shopping IRL a worthwhile experience.
This past year, brands have been throwing retail concepts against the wall to see what sticks. (Remember Glossier’s all-pink Instagrammable cafe and Naadam’s $75 sweater shop?) But in 2019, we predict that brands and consumers will settle into a new normal with stores. There will be fewer gimmicks, but shopping will be ever more seamless.
It’s just one of the many ways retail will be transformed in 2019. Here’s the full list of our predictions.