They predict the entire retail model and peoples’ shopping habits will turn on its head by 2025, with 59% of consumers expecting more than half of retail space will be devoted to experience rather than product by this time. Most customers are willing to pay more for experience with the most requested in-store activities needing to be creative, health and games orientated.
They also suggest that brands that use their online space to showcase the full range and their physical stores to “surprise and delight” could become star performers.
The report suggests sustainability will come in to play, with consumer conscience rapidly accelerating a demand for more sustainable solutions including having products made in-store.
It says retailers will take personalisation to the next level using science to diagnose precise needs, which could be worth more than €4tn a year in Europe. Surprisingly they found more than a third of customers would be willing to provide their DNA in return for accurate recommendations.
Most interestingly for the high street, the report says retail spaces of tomorrow will become community hubs. Consumers want them to reflect the people who live locally, and stock local brands.
Christophe Cuvillier, Group Chief Executive Officer, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield said: “The ‘Westfield How We Shop: The Next Decade’ report is one of the largest European studies of consumers’ retail habits and is an industry first. Understanding customers’ needs today and tomorrow is part of our commitment to driving the industry forward and ensuring we provide the ultimate destinations for our visitors to enjoy and our retailers and brands to thrive in.”