Digital meets physical, defining the retail landscape in 2020

Over the past few years the retail landscape has been evolving at rocket speed with 2020 set to be the definitive year of immersive retailing. The much talked about ‘store of the future’ must, in fact, become reality today.

As digital and bricks & mortar strategies merge to co-exist, the retail apocalypse of the 2010’s which saw a surge in shop vacancies, has fuelled the era of temporary store spaces and pop-up models.

According to retail and data analysts Edited, temporary instalments, brand activations and in-store sensory experiences are here to stay. With the autumn winter show season starting in January, designers will continue to explore and innovate with these concepts to generate hype alongside their latest collections.

A new decade of sustainability

With 2019 dubbed as the ‘Year of Sustainability,’ it is expected that sustainable innovation is a top priority for retailers in 2020. This creates several opportunities within the virtual and digital space, according to Edited.

Overproduction is often first of mind concerning the fashion industry’s negative environmental impact. However, even before goods are put into production, retailers need to consider the contribution to landfills from their sampling processes.

Outside of the sustainable element, digital fashion is also making its way into the physical space bridging online and offline to create a new shopping experience.

Virtual influencers

Building on from the vision of a future connecting digital clothing with real-life influencers is scaling the possibility of digital influencers wearing digital clothes. Over the years, virtual influencers have appeared in luxury campaigns for designers such as Balmain or have interacted with real models as per Bella Hadid with Lil Miquela for Calvin Klein.

Openings, closures, mergers and acquisitions

A host of store opening and closures will put a mark on 2020, with Debenhams set to close 22 locations in the new year after falling into administration. Sears will shutter 51 stores starting in February and Sports Direct announced further House of Fraser closures are expected in 2020. Forever 21 announced it will be closing in Southern California, adding to the list of US locations shutting down in January. In the new year, the retailer will also shutter all its UK locations. Marks & Spencer will continue closing its bricks-and-mortar presence in 2020 including downsizing some of its largest flagship stores.

As for retail openings, Inditex has benchmarked 2020 to sell all brands worldwide online. Primark will open 19 new stores, as well as roll out new extensions and relocations. Gucci is launching a series of pop-ups called ‘Pin’ across Paris, Seoul and Hong Kong between January and March 2020. Pin will focus on augmented reality and interactive consumer experience. Moncler’s ‘House of Genius’ project in Paris, Tokyo and Milan will continue until the end of January 2020.

As for mergers, acquisitions, and the musical chairs of brands changing Creative Directors, we will have to wait and see.

Article source: Edited Image: Gucci Pin, source


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