Our retail landscape’s future is not what it used to be


cfo retail future

Luxury has become less about 'what I have'and much more about 'who I am': more ethical, creative, emotionally connected.


The secret to luxury spend today is what consumers do, not what they own. Brands are reconsidering their own articulation of value and shifting their focus from selling products to providing services and experiences as consumers demand integrity. They expect the same seamless, convenient and frictionless experience from legacy Brands as that provided by tech start-ups. Retailers are responding with new formats to reach different demographics who perceive traditional luxury offers as sterile. New models are developing that reach out to a bigger audience including pop-up and hybrid stores.

This is further evidenced as luxury Brands extend their reach by moving to new locations in order to reach this wider customer base. Luxury labels are also embracing ‘fast fashion’. Spurred on by social media, they are sending new items direct from the runway to retailers. Faster, quicker, giving customers a reason to keep coming back. Nevertheless, the fundamentals remain. Luxury continues to be built around impeccable experience and service. The ultimate luxury of the future will still require human interaction, and the delightful personal secrecy that goes with it."


Technology is no longer the enemy of physical stores. Now, Big Data is breathing new life into retail, presenting innovative ways for Brands to monitor, engage and personalise their offer to consumers. iCloud, Virtual, Augmented reality.


Retailers are introducing mobile technologies inside their shops to extend experience through flexibility, personalisation, engagement and instant customer service.

Today’s retailers enhance in-store experience by blending digital with physical. Queues will become a thing of the past. Customers can self-help through robotic or digital technology. iPads today in-store provide an ever-lasting aisle.

Technology is a two-way street. Retailers benefit too as they adopt cloud-based apps, which enable them to scale quickly, work from anywhere, and get real-time insights into various aspects of their business and customers.The future is already with us, it will find you.


The world is our oyster. Leading retailers and Brands no longer expand in just one territory. The world is becoming smaller. More than ever, global expertise coupled with local knowledge is essential to enter new markets. Global, Local, Understanding.


Local context is important, but increasingly, aspiration is global. Consumers from Boston to Beijing lust after the same smartphones, wear the same fashion and drink (almost) the same craft beer. Glocal is about global Brands which customise their design to the local culture and local habits, work together with local Brands and partners often using local resources and ingredients.

The global consumer is becoming older, more Asian and more mobile. Urbanisation means ever more people have the social freedom and economic means to exercise greater choice, as traditional social structures fragment. Serving these ‘city-sumers’ requires Brands to tailor their products and campaigns to sophisticated urban audiences to ensure not only that the product is right, but that the Brand understands their lifestyle and speaks to their desire for social and environmental sustainability.

Brands and retailers are becoming bespoke. The hyper consumer constantly seeks customer delight with a local twist.


Look for today’s busiest airports and transport hubs and you will find the great retail developments of tomorrow. Transport hubs are the portals of future retail. Smart, experiential, seamless.


Travel retail is driven by densities, often 3-4 times that of the High Street. Understandable, considering passenger numbers across the world’s five busiest airports alone are in excess of 400 million. Even our top shopping centres cannot compete.

Retailers are continually providing innovative and cutting edge retail models to attract consumer spend. Try a Kit Kat smoothie, relaxing on a beach bench under a coconut tree with your feet in the sand; and that’s at Changi airport. Transumers on-the-go, whether in stations or airports, require contextually relevant retail experiences that deliver the right (or interesting) product on time and easily, whether pre-ordered or impulse purchased.

Connected travellers use mobiles as their personal concierge and wayfinder for shopping, booking and navigating and retailers are increasingly tapping in through beacon technology to make personalised offers in order to entice them to try something new, either a spa session or a different perfume. It’s about innovative shopping experiences and the journey."


The High Street is back but not as we knew it. Online retailers and global Brands embrace innovation to provide a bespoke customer experience that ecommerce cannot match. Touch, Emotion and Story.


The pure-play ecommerce approach is dead. Retailers are rethinking online strategy and embracing physical shops as consumers search for new places to connect, to relax and define themselves. Bricks and mortar stores are back. They are our new vinyl. Retailers can no longer rely solely on ecommerce to win and grow market share. Amazon and Google are opening their first customer-facing branches.

As Brands and retailers continue to embrace new retailing models, we are experiencing a new style of engagement. Transient, hybridisation and try-advertising grow on the back of new technical and digital developments. We are also seeing a shift towards Brands opening stores, from Kellogg’s to Nespresso, from Samsung to Dreamworks. They too have a story to share. Connection is everything. Technology is changing the High Street of the future but touch and feel will never disappear.


A food revolution is underway, fuelled by social media and driven by diners' appetite for new and authentic experiences. Street, Organic, Signature.


As retail becomes more experiential, food and drink embraces new styles of entry points in developments, whether on the High Street, in a shopping centre, office complex or at a transport hub. They are constantly changing to satisfy customers’ need for the new.

Food and drink is much more than fuel today. It increasingly taps in to key trends, from colocation – hybrid spaces that offer customers complementary concepts in a single environment. More retail Brands are embracing food as part of their extended customer experience. Shoe stores become cafés - Tom’s Venice LA store has everything from a yoga area to an organic café.

Eating has become democratised as customers search for ethical and authentic consumption. Linen tablecloths are disappearing. Signature chefs today pop-up in new transient formats. High end eating is becoming accessible to all. ‘Street food’ is no longer down and dirty – it has risen from stalls to the global integrity eating and is beginning to appear across our everyday real estate landscape. Food and tech continue to embrace to create new customer convenience and experience. teaBOT kiosks allow you to order a custom cup of loose-leaf tea and share your blends at the touch of a button; New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport provides 6,000 iPads for travellers to order food, shop online and check their flights. The world of food is changing. What do you want to eat tomorrow?" 

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