Retailers’ constant experimentation with new concepts and formats helps lay the groundwork for the industry’s future. For this reason, Euromonitor profiles the most innovative concepts in retailing each year. While today some of the winning concepts over the past five years represent the future of retail, others have inevitably failed. This report puts a spotlight on 12 of the key new retail concepts from the past and examines the factors that have determined their success or failure.
Addressing a relevant market opportunity, at the right time, with a good understanding of the competitive environment, and managing to reach a wide enough target audience that would allow a new concept to evolve, while maintaining positive cashflow, is a great balancing act. Execution is key, and it is often necessary to fail before finding the path to success.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic led to a dramatic increase in customer traffic through digital channels. Commercial or purpose-driven, a retailer’s quest to provide the perfect digital shopping experience must now include an enhanced presence via mobile and apps, and a frictionless customer journey.
Technology is reshaping retailing. In-store shopping is becoming a seamless experience, allowing for greater personalisation and even a completely contactless or automated journey. Online, new technologies allow increased efficiency and added-value at lower costs, with potential to scale fast in new product categories or geographies.
Retailers need to integrate omnichannel offerings and continuously innovate to keep up with customers’ needs. Offline extensions of online shopping, better in-store feel to online experiences, and diverse delivery options are all features that need to be integrated to preserve the swift and seamless shopping journey across all channels.
The pandemic revealed already present weaknesses and accelerated pre-existing trends in the industry. The crisis proved to be fertile ground for new concepts, as well as being a great incubator of innovation. E-commerce, last-mile and digital concepts benefited most, sustainability maintained its importance, while other concepts were impacted more negatively by the restrictions the industry had to face.
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