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Store and Retail Trends 2024

Store and Retail Trends 2024
Feb 28, 2024 By WGSN Insider

As the streetwear boom continues to thrive, retailers and brands ranging from mass and established labels to luxury names and emerging directional designers are launching exciting new store concepts. 

We highlighted the importance of specialised store concepts at the internationally recognised trade fair MICAM Milano. WGSN’s Head of Trend Curation Kim Mannino presented 19 innovative new store concepts from around the world, to inspire retail and visual merchandising strategies. 

Innovative retailers are launching specialised stores that focus on a particular category or demographic; this helps them expand their customer base and meet niche demands. We highlight some of the key opportunities for brands and retailers keen to explore new store formats. 

Stores as innovation hubs

Stores are establishing a more reciprocal relationship with consumers and shaping a new era of service-based retail, meeting this demand with community events and co-creation initiatives.

Store interiors
Unsplash / Clark Street Mercantile

Consumers also want brand transparency, forcing companies to review their production methods and internal strategies. Retailers should transform stores into innovation hubs to engage this discerning consumer, including them in their brand narrative and showcasing behind-the-scenes activities.

When planning your store, create a space encouraging collaboration and innovation to boost consumer loyalty in 2024.

Make shopping seamless

With new digital purchasing habits, consumers want speed and convenience, but they also want IRL retail experiences. In 2022, physical stores generated a revenue of more than US$702 billion worldwide, compared to US$603 billion generated by e-commerce.

Personal shopping
Pexels / Thirdman

It is essential to integrate technology to create a seamless retail experience. Invest in frictionless shopping automation for speed, augmented reality (AR) capabilities for virtual product try-ons, interactive displays to create immersive installations, and smart mirrors for personalised recommendations. Technology is no longer an add-on but an intrinsic part of the shopping experience.

The return of the flagship store

Flagship stores offer a comfortable and sensory-stimulating environment that modern consumers crave. Hotspot commercial rents have dropped due to the pandemic, leading to a rise in mega flagship stores from the likes of Alexander McQueen and Celine; these are the luxury sector’s new investment trend. 

Woman window shopping
Pexels / Adrienn

Flagship stores aim to provide the best shopping experience for the customer, which currently means a stimulating multisensory space that offers culture, comfort and reassurance amid uncertainty. Dior’s new mega flagship store in Shanghai does this well, incorporating a gallery, restaurant, spa, gardens, ateliers, museum, and events space.

The potential of the specialised store

With niche as the new norm, heritage and established brands are investing in new segments to broaden their audience, enter new markets or revitalise their image. The ‘specialised store’ focuses on particular product categories, classic products or even pieces aimed at a specific demographic. 

Woman shopping shoes
Pexels / Alexandra Maria

This store model is guided by customers’ tastes and interests, strengthening the connection between customers and the brand. It can also be a clever strategy for eliminating excess inventory. While large promotions and discounts can damage a brand’s image, these premium, specialist stores can empty stock without causing losses.

Discover more rising physical retail formats on the WGSN platform:

  • Stores with a mission
  • Using colour for emotional impact
  • Stores with AI tools

Find out more about emerging retail formats and the strategies identified by WGSN for the coming years, schedule a complimentary demo with our commercial team through this link and start optimising your results.

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