2020 – a year of clarity or blurred lines for retail?

Jan 29, 2020
Written by Renée Sunde, President & CEO

In 2020 things are complicated for the retail industry. So much is changing and at times the trends seem to contradict themselves.

Here’s a great example. In a recent Retail Dive article on 2020 trends, the author talks about how the U.S. consumer is confident yet picky; how stores need e-commerce, yet e-commerce needs stores. Whether we are talking about inventory, merchandising, marketing, fulfillment or everything in between, retail will continue its evolution in the coming year.

The fact that 2020 is an election year makes it even more complicated. Are tariffs still a threat or will the potential impact on retailers subside? The political uncertainty means that both consumers and business investors are wary of potential market volatility that may play out in the coming year.

Below are a few trends that are certain to evolve in 2020:

  • The consumer’s appetite for resale and re-commerce will be voracious. Much of this trend will be driven by the value-conscious millennial. Business models like Rent the Runway, ThredUp and The Real Real, will set the stage for other retailers to follow.
  • Pressure for retailers to rethink supply chain strategies will be more of a priority than ever before and success in 2020 will be grounded in offering an incredible retail experience. How retailers tell their stories and how shoppers experience the emotional connection they make, will allow vigilant businesses to raise the bar.
  • The lines between channels, products, technology companies and social media entities will no longer be clearly delineated. Retail won’t be boxed in; instead, the operative catchphrase for 2020 retail will be blurred lines.

You, the consumer, will play a huge part in clearing the fog. The reshaping of the retail industry will ultimately be determined by where and how customers choose to spend their money.