While speaking with Retail4Growth, Sanjay Agarwal, Co-Founder - FRDC, Bangalore, shares that 2024 will see retail reflecting some of the changes in consumer needs and behavior, like their increasing need for physical social spaces, and that store designers will have to accordingly craft experiences that resonate with these changes.
2020-22 saw consumers getting accustomed to virtual realities when the physical world suddenly became inaccessible. The latter part of 2022-23 saw them returning to physical/social spaces with the increased need to travel, meet, discover, explore and socialise as groups – reconnecting with the real world.
While we expect to see an increased number of new F&B concepts/ services in 2024, consumers will also have a refreshed desire to socialize more than ever. So the socialising factor of F&B will also rub on pure retail in brick-n-mortar form. Hence one can expect ‘Social Retail’ as an emerging phenomena, which will counter E-com and digital retail /social media.
When it comes to some of these new retail trends, one can see a parallel in the hospitality industry. For example, many famous restaurants build buzz around their signature dishes on social media. With customers further sharing their experiences on social media, these places gain a lot of popularity. One can see this in retailing too. Many formats/categories of retail are or trying to create uniqueness through their products or services. Uniqlo for example started their ‘UTme’ concept counter where customers can create or custom-make their own T shirts or use custom stickers.