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Westfield launches European-wide study revealing 2025 will be retail tipping point

Tom Shearsmith
14 January 2020

Westfield is launching its first ever European-wide study unveiling what we can expect to see in the future of retail, including a forecast that 2025 will be a "retail tipping point".

The report reimagines what future sustainable stores will look like and unveils highly predicted statistics regarding the future of retail. The study polled almost 16,000 people across Europe and predicts five major trends to shape the industry over the next 10 years including:

      • UPSIDE-DOWN RETAIL - the entire retail model and peoples’ shopping habits will turn on its head by 2025, with 56% of UK consumers expecting more than half of retail space will be devoted to experience rather than product by this time. More than half of consumers have the view that this will happen by 2027.
      • ANTI-PRESCRIPTION – 52% of British consumers are frustrated by inaccurate online retail experiences that are prescribed and a huge 72% want to browse full ranges, not curated edits. Smart digital and bricks brands that use their online space to showcase the full range and their physical stores to surprise and delight could become tomorrow’s star performers.
      • SELF-SUSTAINING STORES – consumer conscience will rapidly accelerate a demand for more sustainable solutions with 70% of people in the UK demanding products are made in-store. 78% of us want retailers to do more to address environmental concerns.
      • RETAIL SURGERY – retailers will take personalisation to the next level using science to diagnose precise needs, which could be worth up to £40 billion per month, just in the UK. More than a third of UK customers (35%) are willing to provide their DNA or health in return for accurate recommendations.
      • LOCALLY MORPHED - retail spaces of tomorrow will become community hubs with 69% of UK shoppers desiring them to reflect the people who live in the area and 50% would prefer local brands to well-known ones.

The experience economy has changed the face of retail, with the potential for even bigger influence in the future. In the report, it identifies 2025 as the experience tipping point, where by this date, 56% of UK consumers expect retail spaces to handover more than half of their square footage to seeing and doing as opposed to sales driven retail display and collections.

Almost a half of Londoners (43%) said they'd like to find more creative experiences in store – from studios where you can create your own podcasts to video games. With rise of co-working across the UK, nearly 30% of Londoners are seeking workspaces and educational opportunities within stores.

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British Retail Consortium CEO Helen Dickinson said: "With 2019 showing the worst sales growth on record, new thinking will be crucial to reversing this trend. The 2020 climate will also provide retailers the opportunity to deepen relationships with their local communities. The Westfield How We Shop research unveiled that 69% of the UK want to see their retail environments reflecting the local community, which would undoubtedly have a positive effect on both the consumer/brand relationship and sales. The next decade is likely to see many cultural shifts and greater uncertainty."


Westfield Report

The 2019 "Westfield How We Shop: The Next Decade" quantitative survey surveyed countries including Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and The UK. The survey was designed to explore five key trend areas within the report, with the full report being viewable via Westfield's corporate website.

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