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What Changes Will Shape the Future of the High Street

CBRE Unveils Next Eight Insights Shaping the Retail Sector in the Next Decade

London - Moscow, 11 December 2017, – CBRE predicts that the high street will see a transformation, as retail occupiers become more diverse. The physical store will focus more on “experiences”, new emerging brands and changes in lease structures, will play a pivotal role in creating a different shopping experience by 2030.

The new insights from the Future of Retail 2030, by the world’s leading real estate services firm, CBRE, examines some of the drivers that will change the retail sector by 2030.

Within the next decade, the high street will feature more new emerging brands that are experience-driven and connected with the local community. The trend towards shorter lease lengths and more flexible terms will also contribute towards the changing make-up of the high street as landlords seek to experiment with new brands.

CBRE also foresees that the process and the speed of the returns procedure will be more straightforward. Autonomous vehicles will collect returns from consumers’ homes and selected drop off points. Retailers will create predefined return options in a more progressive way, inclusive of prearranged dates and locations.

Andrew Phipps, Head of UK & EMEA Retail Research at CBRE, commented:

“The next ten years will be transformative. We’ll see a new version of the high street; people will shop differently and have different expectations around delivery and returns. There will be increased pressure to provide a seamless experience whilst also creating newness and excitement for the shopper.”

CBRE’s Future of Retail 2030 examines 40 “futurist” insights on how the world of retail will change in the future - amid changes in consumers ‘lifestyles, urban environments, retail operations, logistics and other trends affecting the industry.

This week, CBRE released the new eight insights from the series of 40. The remaining 16 insights will be unveiled over the coming weeks.

The other insights outlined by CBRE in the Retail 2030 series include:

Customisation will become the new loyalty
In the social media era, consumers view products as another way to express their individuality. Brands with the ability to tailor products and experiences to meet specific consumer needs are more likely to entice brand advocates and ensure repeat purchases. In the coming years advances in technology and increasingly flexible work systems will create and easier way for companies to customize goods and services in high volumes without significant cost increases.

The sharing economy will be a commonplace
The size and influence of many shared-economy-based companies now rivals or has exceeded some of the world’s largest companies. Soon many of the world’s most valuable brands will have their roots in the sharing economy and being able to access rather than being able to own will be key.

Curated retail experiences will be a basic expectation
Today consumers expect greater value propositions in an increasingly competitive marketplace and have expressed that they feel more valued and develop loyalty towards brands that tailor their operations to the consumer’s needs. New technology will support the curated experience and retailers will use the data collected from customer interactions to prompt additional purchases, either at the time of the initial shopping trip or at an appropriate later date.

Delivery tracking information will be precise
There is still a relatively large delivery window for most items and consumers are leaning towards more precise delivery times if given the option. In the future, the predictive pattern of data will be used more efficient to locate exactly where an item is, allowing consumers to place orders with a high degree of certain delivery time, with accurate estimates given at the time of purchase.

Flexible leases structures will be more common
There will continue to be proportion of occupiers that request longer leases but this will be in the minority. We’ll see a rise in independent brands embracing the pop-up model in order to offer more personalised services for specific markets and neighbourhoods rather than one large flagship store.

Consumers will be able to experience their purchase before making a payment
The ‘try before you buy’ will grow to be a common retail experience. Virtual reality and haptic technology will allow people to experience items without buying them. These experiences will feel so realistic that it will allow a “fact”-based decision to be made.

To learn more about CBRE’s Future of Retail 2030 go to: www.cbre.com/futureofretail2030

Published on: 11 12 2017

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