The Future of Retail 2019

The Future of Retail 2019

Top 10 Trends that Will Shape Retail in the Year Ahead

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Retail is in the midst of a radical transformation. Rapidly shifting consumer habits, fast-changing technologies and challenging competitive dynamics are all occurring against an overall positive economic backdrop. As we look back on a strong 2018, we consider the 10 retail trends that will most shape the year ahead.

How much will US consumers spend on retail and ecommerce next year?

We forecast that 2019 will mark another strong year for the sector, with total retail sales expected to grow 3.3% to $5.529 trillion and ecommerce sales expected to grow 15.1% to $605.3 billion. However, emerging economic risk factors dampen the outlook from what could otherwise be expected given the strong US labor market and rising incomes.

Which retailers will succeed and which will struggle?

The retail apocalypse will continue to threaten brick-and-mortar resulting in more store closures from traditional retailers, but it will be offset by the expanding retail footprint of direct-to-consumer brands and other niche retailers better positioned to thrive in this environment.

Which retail innovations will reshape physical retail?

Brick-and-mortar is in the midst of a radical transformation as it transitions from an inventory-led environment to a more frictionless, experiential environment. Emerging trends like cashierless checkout, pop-up stores and data-driven merchandising are causing retailers to reimagine the retail experience for modern consumers.

Which emerging retail technologies will gain traction with consumers?

Voice commerce, social commerce and augmented reality are among several up-and-coming technologies that will gain traction with consumers in 2019, but only in select use cases and category contexts.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report looks at what to expect for the US retail and ecommerce markets in 2019, and highlights the 10 key trends that will have the biggest impact on shopper behavior and retailer performance in the year ahead.

KEY STAT: US retail spending is poised for solid growth across all channels in 2019, with brick-and-mortar proving resilient while contributing more than half of overall sales growth next year.

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Andrew Lipsman


Caroline Cakebread
Junior Analyst
Man-Chung Cheung
Research Analyst
Amy Rotondo
Senior Researcher
Yoram Wurmser
Principal Analyst