Ahh, summer. It’s time to take a break from work, hit the beach and relax — unless you are in the retail industry, that is.
Retailers traditionally expect sales to be sluggish during the summer months, but “always on” shoppers are changing the rulebook. Brands and retailers are working hard this year to regain their footing in the face of seismic industry change.
Taking a page from the tech playbook, many retailers are laser-focused on innovation to transform their legacy businesses, and they are doing so by expanding categories and embracing new markets.
Here is a roundup of five retail trends that are on my mind this summer:
1. FAST AND FURIOUS FURNITURE
The secret to happiness is not only finding your dream home but decorating it with the latest home trends. The fast-fashion concept is now changing the furniture industry, and younger consumers are opting for brands like Homegoods, Wayfair and Cloth & Company that are able to streamline design operations to satisfy their wants almost instantaneously.
2. EXPERIENTIAL CONCEPTS MAKE SCENTS
IKEA has engaged in a partnership with perfumer Ben Gorham to launch a scent collection in 2019 based on an exploration of the role of scent and fragrance in the home. Zara Home recently launched its own fragrance line that embodies six different lifestyle expressions of the home in scents.
3. DIVERSIFY, DIVERSIFY, DIVERSIFY
Brands are expanding their reach by testing out new categories and markets. Earlier this year, Zara Home expanded its target audience to include children with the launch of its Kids Home collection. And Forever 21 recently partnered with mall developer GGP Inc. to roll out Riley Rose Beauty Boutique, a concept store selling accessories, cosmetics and home goods.
4. WHET YOUR APPETITE FOR FOOD HALLS
From coast to coast, developers are gaining traction with food concepts. Food halls and “havens” create a community marketplace experience that drives traffic back to malls. Food halls are also being sought to anchor new residential developments, such as the Cipriani family’s plans to open a food market at GID Development Group’s Waterline Square megaproject on New York City’s Upper West Side.
5. DISCOUNT IS KING
Retailers are following millennials’ shift toward bargain-shopping and the overall shopper demand for getting the most bang for your buck. Even Macy’s has jumped on the bandwagon, restructuring its merchandising strategy to target the discount shopper.
Anjee continues to be an insatiable enthusiast of all things retail. She’s a student of culture with a pulse on future shoppers and the fleeting trends constantly changing the retail landscape … driving retailers, landlords and developers crazy!