NZ Retail and The Register’s editor and associate publisher, Sarah Dunn, feels the middle of the year is a much better time than the beginning to assess what’s happening across any industry. So, here’s 11 predictions she’s made for the next 12 months in New Zealand retail.
- Mass-market retailers will continue to pursue a value offering, while mid-market retailers may start to introduce more luxurious elements.
- Buy-now, pay-laters will continue to grow. They now wield considerable influence over shoppers, and may start to take a more active role in influencing behaviour.
- Meal-kit providers will target supermarkets more.
- The repositioning of handmade, artisanal products as luxury items will continue apace. We’ll see more high-end SMEs entering the market selling this type of product.
- These same high-end SMEs may well take a D2C approach, being nimble with social media, online and pop-ups.
- The instant, two-way style of brand communication introduced by social media isn’t going anywhere, but particular channels may start to slowly fall from consumer favour.
- Like cherry blossoms in the springtime, some things aren’t meant to last. We’ll see more temporary ‘fail fast’-type projects: collaborations between brands; pop-ups; workshops and in-store activations; food truck visits; flash sales.
- Minimum-wage workers now have more power thanks to a suite of employment law changes, meaning employers will need to put more effort into courting and keeping even very entry-level staff.
- Vegan and plastic-free offerings will continue to mainstream. The next step will be soft packaging.
- Retail may experience its own #MeToo wave of publicity across workplace sexual harassment and assault. In the UK, scandals associated with Topshop founder Sir Philip Green triggered some attention of this kind in 2018, and hospitality has also come under the spotlight in a similar way. No industry is completely free of sexual harassment.
- The first wave of experiential store installations will be being assessed for performance. Will further investment be justified, or will retailers yearn to go back to basics? Digital toys like touchpads and apps will come under more scrutiny.
This story originally appeared in NZ Retail issue 762 June/July 2019