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Retail in 2021: Trends that will shape retail design in 2021

By Retail4Growth Team | Retail4Growth Team | January 14, 2021

Last year, we saw that nothing can be certain. The pandemic outbreak completely changed the way of doing business. But by turning the world upside down, it also brought many innovations and trends. Now as we surpass the challenging times of 2020 and enter 2021, what will be the key trends that will shape the future of retail design? To gauge where the industry is headed in the coming year, Retail4Growth talked to experts in retail design services, architects and solution providers to understand their take and the possible way forward.

Change has been the only constant since covid hit the retail industry. Physical retail witnessed innovations as brands and retailers adopted techniques to combat consumer apprehensions and hiking prices.Omnichannel retail witnessed a substantial rise, with one in three shoppers using multiple channels to reach their purchasing decisions. Simultaneously, retail design also evolved in due course and is no longer seen as a creative physical environment that persuades customers and enhances sales. It is now an immersive experience of the seamless transition between virtual and physical worlds.

Now the real question is, what trends will ebb and what will stay the course, ushering the industry into 2021 and beyond? Retail4Growth spoke with some prominent store designers and architects to find out what they think will be some game-changing retail design trends in the coming 12 months.

 1. Sustainability coming to the fore

A saying you may not have heard before – it takes a village to build a retail store – from the vision of the client to the designer’s prodding. The pandemic has taught people to spend wisely and sustainable approach has gained more attention. Sustainable projects not only help in cutting down on costs and save resources but also adds a unique element to it. Therefore, designers would be looking to figure out ways towards building a sustainable and resilient future for the retail industry.

 2. Minimalistic Design

Something that goes parallel with a sustainable design is the ability to churn out beauty through minimalism. Minimalistic retail interiors take simplicity to another level. A lot of brands are going back to retail designs that portray bare essentials and eliminate unnecessary elements. Less congestion will allow shoppers to concentrate more on merchandises and facilitate a clutter-free shopping experience. However, minimalism does not restrain in having fun with designs but helps in focusing more on major selling points.

 3. Inclusive Approach

In recent times, retail designdemands more than just the physical aspects of the store to persuade and retain consumers. It is more about a harmonized retail design. The pandemic has made ‘more’ people use the digital channel for buying ‘more’ things. Contrary to what people may think, this will be very good for the physical channel, which is burdened with operational inefficiencies. The digital data, if processed by the brands can reduce inefficiencies and redundancies in the physical retail. More importantly, it will enable the retailers to create hyper-personal retail experiences for their consumers. Brands like Decathalon have already taken the first stab in this direction and it can fortify the retail game in near future.

 4. Customizing touch points

Incorporating a successful phygital retail design is not possible without acknowledging consumer preferences. As the intrusion of technology is breaking the monotony of traditionalism in retail design,focus should be more on elevating in-store experiences and service with seamless conversion for convenience and accomplishing purchase. Observing customer behaviour & coordinating touchpoint accordingly will be crucial in 2021. Diversifying footprint, mix store formats and deepening connect with patrons will be the winning factors.





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