Where will retail be in 10 years

by Warren Richmond | CEO Situ Live

Feb 10, 2021

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield released a retail trends report titled, ‘Westfield How We Shop: The Next Decade’. The 2020 report explores how consumers across Europe will be shopping by 2029, accumulated from surveys of 15,700 consumers across ten European countries.

One of its foremost predictions was that 2025 will be the tipping point when more than half of retail space in stores will be dedicated to providing experiences.

In the report five key trends are identified which will transform the retail industry entirely: upside down retail; anti-prescription; self-sustaining stores; retail surgery and locally-morphed retail.

Upside-down retail

59 per cent of shoppers expect the majority of retail space to be dedicated to offering up experiences by 2025, furthermore a huge 81 per cent of customers said they would be prepared to pay more for experience.

The appetite for innovation is significant - shoppers want to escape from the mundane every day, which is why so many are excited by the prospect of escapist experiences. Almost a third of shoppers want to try gaming experiences like escape rooms or virtual reality. These types of spaces give customers even more reasons to keep coming back.

42 per cent of shoppers crave more creative experiences in store. With health and gaming experiences cited as the most popular, as well as experiences that help visitors live a better life.


56 per cent of European shoppers are frustrated by unreliable and inaccurate e-commerce recommendations, while nearly 60 per cent want to be able to browse full ranges.

The solution to this is for stores to take a hybrid physical-digital approach, using online spaces to showcase their full ranges, while utilising their physical stores to surprise and delight.

51 per cent of respondents said that they see shopping as a leisure activity and enjoy browsing instore. This is partially why shoppers are twice as likely to impulse shop instore rather than online.

Consumers are also requesting that more of their favourite digital-only brands enter physical retail spaces, as 80 per cent of consumers enjoy the overall vibe of shopping in stores. Some established D2C brands including Dyson, Glossier and Huawei have had significant success with dedicated experiential stores.

Self-sustaining stores

Concerns around sustainability are reaching fever pitch, and 76 per cent of Europeans want to do more to address environmental issues. They want retailers to shorten the supply chain, produce items which are built to last and ban single-use plastics.

66 per cent of consumers are willing to pay a premium for sustainable goods. Retailers that have sustainability at the heart of their strategy will likely benefit greatly from doing so.

Retail surgery

Personalisation is a trend that isn’t going away anytime soon. Over the next ten years, retailers will likely take personalisation to the next level, using science to diagnose precise needs.         

More and more shoppers are keen for retailers to use scientific data to inform future purchase recommendations. In fact, 31 per cent of people would be happy for stores to share their DNA or health measurements to receive better product or service recommendations in the future.


As retail spaces evolve, they will increasingly become symbiotic community hubs, with 70 per cent of consumers wanting retail environments to reflect the people who live in the area.

There is also a desire for more locally-flavoured experiences, especially nostalgic ones. 42 per cent of shoppers want future retail environments to also operate as social hubs and event spaces for the wider community.

Pioneering the new era of experiential retail

These trends indicate that the retail industry is going to undergo a seismic transformation over the next year. Shoppers of the future will expect to be inspired and enlightened at every turn.

Situ Live is pioneering the move to experiential retail in the UK, as it launches a new interactive shopper experience at Westfield London later this year.

For consumer goods brands looking for a flexible, low-risk approach to experiential retail, Situ Live provides low-cost access to prime retail real estate. Products are brought to life through immersive store design and storytelling, enabling consumers to develop everlasting relationships with the featured brands.

The team are looking for innovative lifestyle brands across one of six areas: Nutrition Kitchen, Mobile Working, On the Move, Fitness and Wellbeing, Home Entertainment and Connected Home.

If you'd like to experience the future of retail first-hand, please contact us on: hello@situlive.com for an exclusive preview.