2018 Global Retail Trends & Innovations

This month we are pleased to feature the release of the 2018 version of Global Retail Trends & Innovations.  This is a wonderful annual project we develop in partnership with the many members of the Ebeltoft Group, our global network of retail consultants.

Here is a capsule look at what you will find in the latest version of this great resource on how retailers around the world are innovating.  These innovations have been captured under four themes which show many variations of how retailers are working to please demanding consumers.

Smart Shopping

Consumers have learned from their internet shopping about saving time. Time is the new currency for the busy consumer. These retailers make their customers’ lives easier, simpler, and more efficient without compromising the quality of products or the shopping experience.

Chef-in-a-Box is an efficient, fully automated smart vending machine that serves hassle-free fast food. Nutritious, low-cost fresh meals are now available quickly from the vending machines in outlets across Singapore and feature a menu that changes daily.

Unmade is a technology and manufacturing platform that creates customized, knitted garments. While the business integrates with partner brands, it also has launched its own concept store in the U.K., where shoppers can customize designer patterns in knitted garments for on-demand production.


Due to the rise of e-commerce, when consumers decide to shop in brick-and-mortar stores, they seek the personal experience that the online world cannot provide.  Retailers are making this a reality by providing opportunities to socialize with other like-minded shoppers or to interact with knowledgeable and engaging employees.  Done well, this interaction builds customer loyalty and strong relationships for the retailer.

Mini-Migros is a play (and playful) format of Migros supermarket. From exclusive products to branded cashiers and shopping carts, everything is designed just like the regular Migros supermarket, but in a small format. Located within Swiss shopping centers, Mini-Migros invites children and parents to interact with each other and the Migros Brand.

Blackmores is the ultimate destination for wellbeing, designed to empower and inspire guests to live a healthier, more natural life. The Australian store offers a complete wellbeing experience, with rooms for private consultations with qualified naturopaths, a Wellbeing Bar for food and drink sampling, as well as a comprehensive product range.


Emotional Retail

Emotional retail is all about creating emotional ties and strengthening brand awareness through storytelling and strong content.  Being a retailer or a brand is more than selling products or services, it’s about creating identification and connections. Consumers who identify with a brand tend to commit to it more strongly. These stores encourage their customers to embark on a journey of discovery that is driven by passion for the brand.

Indigo, Canada’s largest books-and-music retailer, is uniquely inspired by the art gallery concept. Part bookstore, part cultural-experience department store, it exemplifies the emotional trend in retail. Indigo’s innovation was a transformation from books and music into differentiated branded shops within a store, featuring stationery, flowers, American Girl, Starbucks, Fitbit, and Rifle Paper & Co.

De Balkonie specializes is “everything for your balcony.” Their urban balcony merchandise and decoration helps city residents in The Netherlands to optimize their (relatively) small balcony space. The store offers a focused assortment, innovative products, and personal advice. It sells sustainable plants and inspires people via social media.


Consumers have never been more socially conscious and brands and retailers should, therefore, incorporate social responsibility into their brand identity. Consumers care about the environment, about people, about social responsibility, and ultimately about the kinds of food they consume and the production methods used to generate that food.  Consumers want to feel that they are part of something greater when buying a brand, meaning that brands must provide them with an opportunity to support a good cause.

Feeding Spain started as a meal-delivery club and is a concept born from a simple idea: “For every meal you buy, another meal will be provided to someone in need.” At its casual restaurant in Barcelona, prices are affordable and in line with competitors who don’t promote social responsibility.

Veras Copenhagen is an online circular clothing concept in Denmark, where customers basically share their closets with each other. For a monthly membership fee, customers are free to swap and exchange clothes, shoes, and accessories as much as they wish.


Click HERE to download your copy of 2018 Global Retail Trends and Innovations!


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