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Key Trends in Retail for 2017 and Beyond

Even if the weather hadn’t started to change, you’d know spring was coming just by the number of trade shows & events happening currently. There has been a raft of beautiful new products and styles launched for the coming year.

But what about the trends in retail space design? We spent a morning listening to international trend forecaster WGSN’s view on what the trends and movements are that will be influencing what we buy instore, as well as how we buy them – store design, positioning and how products come to market.

Here’s our wrap up of the top 5 trends. Are there any you can integrate into your business?

Five Key Trends in Retail

1. The Blurring of the residential and the retail spaces

At its very heart, this is being hospitable, welcoming people into your store as you would into your home. Greeting customers is hardly new, but increasingly the trend is that the retail space they are being welcomed into is homely, and curated and presented to mimic the feeling of entering a home. For some retailers that has meant actually opening a retail space in an apartment or a house where everything is styled as it would be at home, but everything in it is for sale. It invites people to imagine living in this space with these things. Airbnb’s influence is particularly strong here – we want to ‘live’ in London, no matter how short a time we are visiting for, rather than just ‘stay’ at a hotel. Take a look at The Studio opened by One Kings Lane.

2. Curated Rooming

For a lot of people, product choice has become overwhelming and they are looking for help to simplify the process, and also to make better choices. Enter the curated selection. This is where products that work together are curated together and offered for sale as a bundle. For example, with Bed in a Bag, a collection of co-ordinated bed linen is offered together as a single product. Or instead of pulling together ‘Shop the Look’ suggestions from a variety of suppliers, they are packaged together into a single bundle for the customer. Is this an opportunity for your business?

3. The Greening of the Indoors

Indoor Plants are becoming increasingly popular in homes, and flowers or plants are an easy addition into a retail space. Here’s the interesting thing – in stores that have plants, studies suggest that customer perception of the business is improved, they’ll stay longer, and often spend more. What’s not to like?

4. Coffee anyone?

While there are definitely days (in Melbourne particularly!) where it feels like we may be approaching peak café, it's still really important to note that including coffee or some kind of food or drink offering within your retail space is a really effective way of building brand connection, as it reinforces the hospitality of your business.

5. The Total Package

Some of the more interesting new retail concepts combine different offerings into a single space. In the Lifestyle sector this might be bringing together shopping, eating & exercise zones. Is this an opportunity for you to co-locate with related professionals or products?


Retail is in a really exciting place, and there are so many opportunities to connect with your customers beyond just instore. The challenge is to make the experience engaging and relevant.

Image credit: Sam McAdam-Cooper, Inside Out Magazine,

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