Consumer trends forecast for 2024: Bright spots amidst economic challenges

Mar 7, 2024
Written by WR Communications

Despite economic challenges like inflation and high interest rates, 2023 illuminated several bright spots across various consumer-facing sectors. From the influence of star power in retail and stadiums to the rise of second-hand apparel and the emphasis on experiential dining and entertainment, emerging trends in 2023 are poised to shape the consumer landscape in 2024.

1. Star Power in Retail and Stadiums:

Events featuring celebrities and cultural moments are directing consumer foot traffic, presenting significant opportunities for retail, dining, and advertising sectors. Examples include Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour and Coach Deion Sanders’ impact on college football, demonstrating the potential for a broader retail and food opportunity around events.

2. Second Hand Apparel on the Rise:

Driven by interest in sustainability and affordability, second-hand retailers are gaining popularity, especially among younger consumers. The category’s sustained growth is expected to continue in 2024.

3. Placemaking as the Core of CRE:

Placemaking initiatives are transforming retail spaces into vibrant community hubs, fostering social interaction, and increasing foot traffic. Diverse tenant offerings and individual retail placemaking strategies are proving successful in attracting consumers.

4. Experiences Drive Entertainment & Dining Visits:

Consumers seek experiential components in entertainment and dining, as seen in the success of movies like Barbie and Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, and dining concepts like GEN Korean BBQ. Experience-driven businesses are poised for success in 2024.

5. Return to the “Old Normal”:

Certain pandemic-induced consumer behaviors are reverting to pre-COVID patterns, such as weekend grocery shopping and the return to the office. These shifts will impact various sectors, including downtown dining and retail.

6. Retailers Suburban Shift:

Suburban markets are experiencing a resurgence, impacting retail and dining preferences. Businesses like Shake Shack are capitalizing on suburban growth, with foot traffic data indicating success in suburban locations.

7. Grocery M&A:

Consolidation in the grocery sector is accelerating, allowing companies to penetrate new markets and reach new audiences. Mergers and acquisitions, such as Aldi’s acquisition of Southeastern Grocers, are shaping the grocery industry landscape.

8. Optimizing Retail Media Networks Through Offline Data:

Retail media networks are gaining momentum, offering innovative advertising platforms. Retailers like Best Buy are leveraging digital and offline data to optimize advertisement campaigns, indicating the growing importance of retail media networks in 2024.

As we navigate through economic challenges, these emerging trends offer opportunities for growth and innovation across various consumer-facing sectors. By understanding and adapting to these trends, businesses can thrive in the ever-evolving consumer landscape of 2024.



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