Top 5 Retail Trends for the Future

Retail Trends

Semester in Review
Retail Leadership Symposium (Consumer Science 250)
By Students Liz Hanson, Taylor Hedl, Amy Grisa, Makayla Hansen, Rita Haney, and Matt Goulette

Throughout this semester in the Retail Leadership Symposium, we chatted with retail companies and professionals dedicated to leading the future of the industry. Here are five of the top trends we discussed:

1. Sustainability 
Given the increasing concerns for the environment in today’s society, many retail companies are constructing green initiatives into their business models. Walmart is a great example of this with their launch of Project Gigaton. This initiative by Walmart, one of the largest retailers in the world, will provide an emissions reduction toolkit to a broad network of suppliers seeking to eliminate one gigaton of emissions, focusing on areas such as manufacturing, materials and use of products by 2030.Walmart's Project Gigaton

2. In-Store Experience
Brick and mortar stores are already competing as it is- with online companies and with each other. So something that really becomes important is the in store experience to draw customers in and keep them entertained. For example, {STORY} as mentioned in class by our instructor Jerry O’Brien, provides a fun environment that changes regularly, surprising and delighting customers every time they walk in.  Another store that provides a great experience is Von Maur because they are focused on making each customer feel at home and they work towards creating an inviting store culture.


One of {STORY} NYC’s Revolving Themes

Von Maur Store in Brookfield, WI

Von Maur Store in Brookfield, WI

3. Innovation
In regards to innovation, so many companies are finding new, creative ways to sell products. The innovation seen throughout this course was remarkable. A great example of this innovation was a concept store in Chicago developed by Restoration Hardware, an upscale catalog with beautiful furniture and household items. What RH did was create a store that made a brand new experience making the catalog come to life. The renovated victorian building was filled with the furniture seen in the catalogs. Everything in the store was able to be purchased and everywhere a person sits, they can be served a meal. This experience makes a person feel as though they are in their own homes and have a stronger desire to purchase the furniture.

4. Affordability
Some retailers that visited our class described that they wanted the customer to have a consistent experience of knowing they are getting a great deal each time they purchase from their store. Ross Stores aims for a $9.99 price point, and strives for the customer to have a “treasure hunt,” meaning they can come in and find a surprising quality product for a discounted cost.

Ross Store

5. Product Quality
Duluth Trading Company’s business model was created by two construction workers in 1989. Many companies today produce inferior goods that are quick and easy to sell, but Duluth offers products with the best quality. Their “No Bull”, 100% satisfaction, guarantee shows that they build their products to last. Their continual ability to satisfy their customer’s wants and needs in respect to product quality is the reason for Duluth Trading Company’s growth.

Duluth Trading No Bull Guarantee

We look forward to seeing these trends continue to lead the future of the retailing industry! To take a look back at our semester, click here.

All Ways Forward: Expand PossibleSupporting Research & Innovation

Annual gifts provide immediately available discretionary funds that the Dean uses for facilitating faculty research and innovation at SoHE. Individual support makes a significant impact in keeping UW-Madison ranked as one of the nation’s leading research universities and to move the world forward.

Click “All Ways Forward” to start making a difference.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *